If there were an award for the most infrequent blogger, it'd be me. Sorry y'all. What can I say, college makes me lax on deadlines. But this time, I have exciting things to share!
I spent my spring break (2 weeks ago) in Huntington, West Virginia at Marshall University. My college ministry, Chi Alpha, sent students around the country and around the world on incredible spring break mission trips. I had the amazing opportunity to spend mine at Marshall, where a Chi Alpha was just started. My school, the University of Virginia, has the second largest Chi Alpha in the country (somewhere between 500 and 600 students), so we went to Marshall to help get their Chi Alpha (now about 15 students) motivated to grow.
The week was spent mostly doing evangelism and prayer walking through the campus. We would go up to students and start conversations about faith. It was awesome. I thought I'd be terrified to do this (I was actually), but God totally eased my fears. Most students were eager to share their opinions, no matter what they were. I got to share my faith and testimony with students all over the religion spectrum. I thought I had to plan every word of the conversation before I started it, but the Spirit completely interceded in many cases, and I was left dumbfounded as my words didn't even seem to be my words. I was talking about Jesus and it just felt right. After our conversations, no one fell to the ground and confessed Jesus as Lord, but opening up those conversations definitely planted some seeds. Who knows what will come of it all, but talking about Jesus all week reminded me of my true purpose. It just made sense to spend my time talking about life in Christ - what else could I do with that much significance??
I left the week with a new realization of the need to spend time in the Word each day. I almost couldn't get out of bed from pure exhaustion of the week, unless it meant I was going to read from the Well of living water. That's the only thing that got me up. Talking to people about Jesus is exhilarating, but it's exhausting without the King Himself being our strength.
I also found that I have a heart for campus ministry. College is a pivotal time for everyone who goes through it - someone told me once that you either get closer to God in college or further - there's no "staying the same". I totally understand that now that I'm living it. I know I've asked this before, but would you mind praying for college students out there seeking for the Lord? They're the next generation and we need Jesus to pour into them so that they can pour into others, too. This is exciting stuff, folks!
"Incline your ear, and come to me: hear, that your soul shall live." Isaiah 55:3
It’s easy for me to be here, surrounded by 18-22 year olds, and not find myself consumed with other voices besides that of the Lord. The voices of the world, the one’s of my peers that I hear every day on the way to class, the one’s that talk about identities in GPA’s and identities in cheap beer – those voices are louder sometimes. They yell. They hurt my ears and they hurt my heart.
God’s voice is different. His voice is quiet – it’s faithful, it’s constant, it’s steadfast, but it whispers. I can’t hear it at all sometimes, until I listen close. I have to tune out all the other shouting. But as soon as I do, I catch His whisper, and it stills my soul. Just like that and I’m still.
My fellowship here, Chi Alpha, strives to be a light on my campus. We seek to eliminate the shadows at UVa. If you have the chance, can I ask you to pray for college students today? There are so many here that can’t hear God’s whisper. He’s pushed aside; He’s not listened to. But He’s speaking and He has great news to proclaim. Pray that His voice would be shouted from rooftops, especially during this season of Advent. And that I can do what I’m called to do, to listen to His whisper and to tell everyone about it.
At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.