Dear partners in the gospel,
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, and to the breaking of bread and the prayers. – Acts 2:42
In my experience among medical students, it is exceedingly rare to find a vibrant community like the one in Acts 2. There are many reasons for this: never-ending school work, the fact that students are on campus for only two years, and lack of significant staff support. Sadly, the results of weaker community are evident, though understandable – isolation, discouragement, stagnant faith, and a ‘survival mentality’.
While this is ordinary for even Christian medical students, I am excited to tell you about a notable exception, the Jefferson Christian Fellowship (JCF). As I visited them again this past week, I was refreshed by their example of godly community. Large-group gatherings average about 30 (2-3 times the size of most medical fellowships) and consist of significant singing and scripture study. Before and after, the love the students have for Christ and one another is unmistakable. During my visit, the students stayed around until 10 o’clock, making for a three-hour meeting! Throughout the week, they gather for accountability, service to their campus and social events. One student even confessed that the fellowship was so inviting that his challenge was to devote enough time to studying!
Although this sort of fellowship is not as rare among college students (who have less coursework and more discretionary time), it is hard to overemphasize how unique it is among medical students. My humble prayer is that God would use our ministry to build this type of fellowship among our other Philadelphia medical campuses. Thank you for your faithful prayers, gifts and love that allow us to carry on this vital ministry.
For the King,
Bryan & Sharon
For prayer & praise:
– Praise God for his faithfulness to this group at Jefferson (JCF). He has created a wonderful fellowship of believers that he clearly delights in.
– Pray for JCF, particularly for ongoing faithfulness among the leaders. Since students are primarily on campus for just two years, it is harder to establish continuity, train up new leaders, and gain momentum for outreach and discipleship.
– As our administrator steps down to have her first child, we will have less administrative help. Pray particularly for the Board and I as we work out the details of the transition. On a final note, we’ll be changing how we handle the monthly prayer requests and receipting process. In the past, you received our monthly prayer requests along with an acknowledgment of your contributions. Going forward, you will continue to receive both, but they will arrive separately.