As this academic year ends, I’d like to tell you (with his permission) about one student’s journey to faith in Jesus.
Toward the beginning of the year, Mat liked Christianity and its premises, but admitted that he was somewhat on the outside looking in. Then, after returning to his apartment, he realized he lost his checkbook on campus.
Understandably upset, he returned to campus and ran into another student who could tell he was upset. After Mat filled her in, she offered to help him look for the checkbook even though she barely knew him. Although they were not successful, the student said she would pray for Mat and that really struck him. He felt like God was becoming real in his life, the very thing he’d been hoping and praying for.
Two days later, on Sunday, he found a Facebook message from one of his fellowship’s leaders saying that the wallet was found and already back in his campus mailbox. Beyond being relieved, he again saw God at work and becoming present in his life.
A few days later, though, doubts began to set in. ‘Was that really God? Or, was it just a coincidence?’ Mat continued to read his bible and connect with Christians on campus, but still, he hadn’t made a decision to follow Christ personally.
I can remember one meeting with him where I asked what was holding him back. He reflected for a moment, then said, “I’m not sure. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing, but I’m not really sure what they are.” And so, I continued to pray with and for him for God to keep reaching out to him.
Perhaps a week ago, Mat and I met again for lunch. This time, something he said made me think that his relationship with Christ had changed. “Wait a second,” I said. “Has your relationship with Jesus changed?!”
He then reminded me of a conversation we had where he shared about a Mark Driscoll sermon he heard a month or two ago. The sermon, from Luke, said that at some point we need to be satisfied with the evidence we have and make a decision to embrace Christ personally. Although Mat didn’t become a Christian when he first heard the message, he really thought about it and eventually decided he needed to ‘go all in’.
Although there were no ‘fireworks’ or a clearly-defined moment of faith, something very dramatic has happened to Mat. Like Christ said, “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). It’s been so exciting to see God’s faithfulness to Mat and watch his journey to Jesus.
He also understands that, in some ways, the journey is just beginning. Thankfully, he’ll have a break from classes this summer, so we’re planning to meet together regularly to see what it means to be a disciple and keep growing in Christ.
It’s such a privilege for me to play a small, but real, role in the lives of students like Mat. Thanks for your prayers and support that allows us to journey alongside them!
In Christ’s love,
Bryan & Sharon
Quick prayers and praises:
- praise God for His work in Mat’s life and pray for that work to continue.
- praise God for a phenomenal year of reaching students for Christ. We saw so many changed lives and watched the students reach out with passion to their classmates!
- pray for our summer: we will host a new bible study on 2 Timothy in our home and meet with many students individually for discipleship. Pray also that God gives us wisdom as we help campus leaders plan for the fall. Also, many new students and residents will be coming to town, so please ask that we connect with them quickly and start forming relationships with them.
- Pray also for me and our student leadership team as we plan for our fall ‘Intermed’, our gathering of students/professionals for worship, teaching and fellowship. It’s a great opportunity for me to invest in many of our key leaders, and, for them to get hands-on experience that will prepare them for future investment as they become healthcare providers!
- Finally, pray for this fall’s incoming students. We are praying for many Christians, skeptics and seekers that we can encourage on their own journeys to Jesus.