As I reflect on the week that I just finished, I again stand in awe of the power of the Lord and His faithfulness.
For those of you who don’t know, InterVarsity had a week long event called Share your story. We partnered with Campus Ministries, FCA, TWLOHA @ CUI and UNA to share stories on campus about topics that are often hidden.
Our vision as a group was to bring the good news of great joy to campus, to boost momentum, and to build relationships. I spent almost 40 days and nights with other co-leaders planning for this event. The Lord remained faithful through that prep time, instead of becoming discouraged with all the work we had ahead of us, the Lord continued to keep that fire lit in our hearts with a passion so deep to bring the gospel to campus. The best part about this week was that God started working in me before the week even began. He taught me so much just during the time that I was prepping and planning.
I would find some of my times with the other leaders, not stressed, but enjoying the time I had with them. I remember the week before this event would begin, I was in the Intervarsity office painting these wooden life-size people that would serve as part of our promotion with Michelle. Instead of getting stressed, we stopped at the local coffee shop for a latte before we hit the ground painting. While painting away, we would just share stories about our lives and I just enjoyed the entire time learning more and more about her. The next day, my friend Ellen helped me with another assignment for the promotion stuff; I again enjoyed hearing stories of her own personal life. Even though the event hadn’t actually begun yet, I was already hearing stories from my own co-leaders and it was getting me pumped for the week that was to come.
The prep that went into this week was also a very humbling experience. My friend Jeff and I were in charge of making a promo video that would both capture the aspects of this week but also grab people’s attention so that they would want to share it across campus. Well, I had never made a video before in my life so I knew that this was going to be an interesting project. Every time before we would start working on this project, we would give the project to the Lord and ask Him that He would bless us with the gift of making videos. There were multiple times that Jeff and I just wanted to tell our staff leader that a movie was out of the picture, but in the end God prevailed and a video was made.
As this “future event” got closer to taking place, I became a discouraged and in many ways starting to doubt this week. Ultimately, doubting God and His power. My roommate and I spent much time in prayer just praying for God to be faithful throughout the week. Indeed He Was!!!!
The first day was called a Dialogue on Uncertainty. There was an interactive display during lunch called “What do you believe.”Through that many interesting conversations were brought up. At night, there was a panel of professors and students who shared their own stories on when they doubted God. In addition, they had a time of question and answers. I remember one person said, I always saw Christians as always happy, never doubting God, but it is encouraging to see that they even as Christians struggle with doubt.
The second day was called Is there hope in Dark Places? There was an interactive display at lunch followed by a coffeehouse aroma in the evening. People shared stories, poems, and songs. We didn’t know how this day would go as we only had about 5 people that signed up ahead of time to share, but Christ was faithful and the event lasted for over 2 hours with person after person sharing their stories in numerous ways. I was so encouraged to see how many people wanted to share their stories and just wanted someone to listen to them. These stories touched me and just reminded me that each person has a story. I feel like many times I can get caught up in who a person is and assuming that I know them, when actually I haven’t even taken the time to ask or listen to their story.
The third day was called What Holds You Captive? There was an interactive display during lunch on body image and self worth and another display at dinner focusing on what holds us captive and how we can find freedom. The night event focused on social justice, pertaining to What Holds others captive. We partnered with the United Nations Association and addressed the issue of Human Trafficking. We had an interactive and informative time talking about stories and stats on those trafficked and then showed the movie Taken. We brought the local Not for profit, Work of Our Hands, to our event and had them share about fair trade products and they brought some of their products for sale.
The fourth day was called Are you Faking It? There was an interactive display during lunch that focused on areas where we fake it, such as in the classroom, in bed, with our friends, or on our sport’s team. That night we had one of our professors share her story and how at one point she doubted God, was depressed, and felt captive and how she was redeemed through Christ. It was a night to wrap up the main topics we talked about throughout the week and how we can be redeemed through Christ. We invited those to stand who wanted to commit their lives to Christ for the first time or wanted to recommit their lives to Christ. We had student leaders in the back to pray for any that needed prayer. And only through God and His power, we had one student accept her life to Christ for the very first time. This was so exciting for me to see God’s fingerprint through her story. Earlier in the day she found out that her favorite professor was speaking so she asked me what the event was about. I told her about it and also told her where she could find the video that described the whole week, yea that video that I almost didn’t make. She decided to come, even though she debated it for a good hour and then came and realized that she needed Christ.
I still stand in awe, sometimes I doubt God and sometimes I just don’t know how it will turn out. But God was faithful. This week, those 40 days of planning and prepping, were all worth it because one girl decided to commit her life to Christ and numerous others decided to recommit their lives.
The last day was a celebration party to end the week. We had an hour of worship and reflection time over the week. It brought a great sense of freedom after a week of talking about some difficult topics. During reflection time in small groups, there was a girl in my group who didn’t go to our church but was an old friend of one of my friends. As we explained to her what this week was about and we told her how we were so amazed by how willing people want to share their story and are just looking for someone to listen. She proceeded to say would you mind if I shared my story, because I just had a radical experience and accepted my life to Christ yesterday. She told her story and we were all amazed with how open she was to share with complete strangers. The most amazing thing was that I knew that there were many that were praying for Thursday night , that people would come to know and love Christ. Even though she was not at our event, God was faithful to her and heard our prayers.
Lord, You are faithful. I am in awe of your power and your presence. I want to be Wowed by you, I don’t want to put you in a tiny box. You are a powerful God and deserve all power and glory. You are the Creator of the Heavens and Earth and I want to praise you.