Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reaching College Students with the Gospel of John

A very encouraging report from one of my parishioners. Reaching Philosophy students with the Gospel of John? How... well... New Testament! Read on, and your prayers and support are welcome:

“The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, for the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” - Luke 10:2

In 1806, five Williams College students prayed under a haystack in a rainy field. They prayed that God would reach the world and do it through them. Those five launched a missions movement that sent students all over the world. What if college students today began to pray and go into the world? This generation of students could transform the whole world with the good news that God loves each person and wants to be reconciled with them. Pray for these laborers.

Zach grew up in a mainline church but found little there that challenged him or that he could connect to. He has become very enthusiastic about the investigative Bible Study started at Augustana College and has invited other Philosophy students to study the gospel of John. They are fascinated by the ideas in the book – the Logos, what can be known, the networks by which the news of Jesus spread – and I am stretching them to apply the Scripture to their lives. Pray that the good news may spread through the networks of these students, just as it did through the networks of Jesus’ early followers.

I am overjoyed to have a coworker, Dave Stene, and his family moving from Mankato, MN to join me in pioneering work with students in Sioux Falls. Dave will attend Sioux Falls Seminary and work with me to plant small groups with a missions focus at the University of Sioux Falls and Southeast Technical College. Pray that we will work together well and discern how best to serve students.

Caring for the needs of students can be overwhelming. I am putting my Spiritual Direction certification to work by developing a plan for spiritual care of InterVarsity staff, promoting self-care, community support, and experiencing the presence of God to prevent burnout. Pray that this ministry to staff will be effective and helpful in restoring their souls.

This summer we are taking some time for Dave to write and for me to take a summer seminary class. There will be much family travel, the kids will do a week of camp at Ontario Pioneer Camp, and we will have a family reunion on Lake Muskoka. I have about 2 years to go in my MDiv work at Sioux Falls Seminary and feel like I am learning and growing tremendously. I continue to seek out support so I can put into practice what I am learning and can continue to minister to InterVarsity staff and students. If you would like to send a fiscal year-end donation to help make up a $1000 shortfall in my budget, you can pay online or mail it to the InterVarsity address below with a note designating it to my support. Thank you for prayers and your generosity!

In God’s mercy,

Christina O'Hara

Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship
PO Box 7895
Madison, WI 53707-7895

No comments: