Bringing Home More Than Souvenirs
Thursday, July 31
During the last couple of weeks our students have jumped into challenging ministry settings:
- Tepito, one of the most shunned areas of Mexico.
- Crowded side walks to perform dramas and publicly proclaim their faith
- UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), one of the largest universities in the world - spanning over 3 subway stops
They found success using creative, new methods to enter spiritual conversations like:
I'll let the students tell you firsthand what happened. I'll say this, I'm proud of them. I'm amazed by their faith and courage.
The idea of approaching college students injected fear and doubt into many of our students (12-17 year-olds). But they moved forward in faith and in a two-day span collectively saw 19 people pray and indicate a decision to receive Christ.
Liz Jackson (17) from Hungary
Today we prayed for divine appointments and I really felt that prayer answered. We met one guy named Mario who was overjoyed and so thankful as he told us his story: "I became a Christian 2 years ago, but I turned away from God and got going down the wrong path. About a week ago, I began praying again. I prayed that God would send me someone showing me that He really does exist and still cares about me. You are that answer."
Jeremy Snell (16) from Asia
I wasn't sure if this short film evangelism strategy was really going to work. But, I was really encouraged today when we did ministry at UNAM. It was the first day we used the short film ministry on our iPods. People were really receptive towards it, and I felt like we made an impact on their hearts. I can't wait to go out tomorrow and do the same thing.
Melissa Clark (15) grew up in Tokyo
Today we went to UNAM to do campus ministry and I wasn't prepared at all. I felt nervous that we were going to walk up to people and start sharing our faith. However, God provided people to talk to and using the videos people really opened up. Even though no one that my group talked to came to Christ, I was encouraged to know and learn I can do things like this at home in my country. These tools are so easy to use anywhere.
Tory Birdsall (16) from Ukraine
I have really grown in my faith in Christ this week, even just today. Today was the first time we did initiative evangelism on a college campus and I was really nervous about sharing my faith to strangers, especially those that were college age. I thought that I wouldn't be respected by them because I'm only in high school or they would just totally blow me off. But God really gave me confidence and I shared the Four Spiritual Laws with someone for the first time today and I was amazed at how smoothly it went and as I was talking, I got more confidence and that was really encouraging.
Natalia Masewiz (17) from Poland
I've been struggling a lot with language barriers because English is not my first language. What I found hardest at the beginning of the project was to pray - I couldn't do it either in English or in Polish. What helped me and showed me that God can use all my weakest parts for Him was leading a prayer ministry - it definitely drew me closer to God and helped me overcome some of my struggles.
Nic Ellis (17) grew up in Asia
Last Friday the entire project went do to ministry at the Zocalo, an extremely old and wealthy area at the heart of Mexico City. Our group was assigned street ministry at a large park near this massive cathedral. We set up on the street and borrowed a music vender's speakers and did the drama to attract a crowd. When we were finished 50 people were standing on that street corner watching. Ben Clark stood up and explained the drama; how this young girl turns away from God and runs into all sorts of bad company and misfortune before God steps in and saves her. When he finished, I stood up and walked into the middle of the circle and introduced myself to the crowd. I explained that I was going to share my personal experiences with the God that was in the drama. I had expected that a majority of our mainly business-suit attired audience would immediately tune me out and walk away, but to my surprise only 1 or 2 people left and were quickly replaced by 10 or 20 more people drawn in by the crowd. As I finished my testimony a little old lady came up to me and said through the interpreter that she wanted what I talked about in my testimony. As 60 or so people looked on I led this Mexican woman through the prayer to receive Christ.
Tina Harder (17) from Russia
I have realized that sharing my faith really isn't that hard. Today we were at UNAM and we were showing videos to students that were on our iPods. It was so easy, just sharing what the movies represented to me. It was neat just being able to share my life story, which is my testimony. Students really listened and were eager to hear about our life. I have learned so much about sharing my faith and I can't wait to start doing it more in Russia.
Kerryn Whittaker (17) grew up in South Africa
Today I was so encouraged. I've found ministry really difficult and haven't been seeing results. But today I got to be a leader (which was fun!) with Kelsey and Jessica (a Mexican student) and spoke to a lady at UNAM University. As we were saying goodbye she said, "I've never been told about God with such love. I can see love, joy and peace in your lives." She didn't accept Christ but I hope that our lives have created a longing in her to know God personally.