I have spent the last two years serving on staff with a campus ministry in TN while also serving this past year as a Student Mobilizer with the International Mission Board. It has been the sweetest ministry season in my life so far!! Between my two roles, I have spent a lot of time having conversations with college students over coffee about what God is doing in their life. I have also spent time discipling students one on one and praying with them as we study the bible about how God is calling them to be a part of his work among the nations.
This morning I had a notification from a closed facebook group where field workers in an undisclosed country update their loved ones. I do not know this couple personally but one of the students that has sat in front of me over more cups of coffee and pieces of cheesecake than I can count is serving with them for the summer.
The update had a picture of the American girls there for the summer and the students they have been discipling and the caption read,
“Many great things are happening on an island to the west of us where the ladies are currently serving. People are hearing the gospel for the first time, professions are being made, and new relationships are being established while students are being discipled – this is everything we hoped for! Pray that the team continues strong and proceeds with great wisdom.”
While I’m OVER THE MOON excited for the decisions that have been made this summer, the line in the update that moved me to tears was this – “this is everything we hoped for!”
Our field personnel are in the thick of Matthew 9:38. They are praying earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. They are praying right now for our college students in America to come and serve alongside of them for a semester or for the summer. All the while, our students are praying for ways that they can be used by God and people around the world are hurting, feeling hopeless and they are grasping for anything that might make them whole when what they need is someone to come and tell them about Jesus.
- To the student that is reading this – our field personnel are praying for workers to come serve alongside of them. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. They are praying for you. Never in your life will you have the flexibility to go and give your time like you will in college. Don’t miss out on how God wants to use you to take the gospel to the nations.
- To the college minister who may be reading this – Your students are seeking ways to be used by God. They need to be challenged and stretched beyond their comforts and given opportunities to serve. Don’t let them slip through the cracks. There are mobilizers like me in cities throughout the US whose job is to connect with churches and come alongside ministry leaders to help mobilize students. Use them.
- To the parents who may be reading this – I know how hard and how scary it is to even entertain the thought of your child going and serving in another country. But here’s the thing : God created you and your kids on purpose for HIS purpose and he LOVES them even more than you do. If your child feels called to go and serve for the summer, even when it’s scary, take a step back and recognize that the same God who created them is calling them to go and do great things. There are so many students who are struggling with a call to go and serve, not because of their own uncertainty or fears but because they do not feel the support of their family. Use this as a way to deepen your own walk with Jesus and with your student as you pray for your child and walk this journey of obedience with them. Don’t miss out on how God wants to use you to send your child to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
- To the pastors and church leaders who may be reading this – Students are thirsty for church family and true connection within the body of Christ. Invest in college students and seek out ways to better equip them to serve the church, the community, their campus, and to go out and join the work that God is doing around the world. As your church prays for our missionaries around the world, recognize that our missionaries are praying for our churches to send out workers. Be a church that invests in their students and that sends their students to go and make disciples.
May our knees be tattered and torn as we join in praying with our field personnel for workers to join the harvest and how we can be a part of both the going and the sending.