Monday, July 5, 2010
As many of you know our Summer Beach Project is currently taking place in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. This summer there are one hundred and thirty students down at project. This is the largest beach project that Campus Outreach Birmingham has ever seen! This summer the theme of the project is “The Kingdom of God.” Students have been learning to gain a kingdom perspective and losing their selves for Christ. Please pray that these students would continue to grow in their own personal relationships with Christ and their desires to give their lives away when they return back to their campuses.
Student highlight: “Getting the chance to disciple girls and learning what true discipleship looks like…” (Maria~ West Georgia Graduate)
Student highlight: “I have learned that when I am making little of my sin, I am making little of Christ…” (Hamilton~ West Georgia Sophomore)
Well, our summer in Australia finally came to a close and the one word that comes to mind is “faithful.” As our team walked away from the summer we were reminded that God’s faithfulness to His people is real, deep, and non-changing. He is more committed to His Kingdom coming than we will ever imagine. This faithfulness is all performed out of the most selfless and pure love. His faithfulness is so vast and deep in not only the depths of our own hearts, but also in the hearts of people all over the world.
We saw this played out in a number of ways. One specific way we saw His faithfulness was through our answered prayers. As a team, we entered into the summer believing that building relationships with the students on campus would be quite difficult. Talking about spiritual things would be almost out of the question. Due to this, we immediately began to pray. We prayed that the Lord would open doors and give us favor in the eyes of the Aussie students. We quickly began to observe that this idea or misconception was not completely true. The girls and I were immediately introduced to some students that were involved in the campus ministry called, “Impact” (equivalent to Campus Outreach). After meeting just a few girls, the Lord began to not only open opportunities to meet others but opportunities to build friendships. It did not take long before the girls and I were spending quality and individual time with the female students discussing their lives and sharing our faith!
The highlight of my summer by far was being able to share the gospel with a South African girl that I had been praying for specifically all summer. As I was talking to her about how Christ came to give life, her eyes filled up with tears and she said, “Bethany, I have never heard this before and I am going to remember this.” Those were the sweetest words to me because in that moment I remembered all the prayers to my sweet God. Please pray for Micol that she would desire God and call on Christ as Savior! Matt’s summer and the guy’s summer was a bit more challenging than the girls in the area of building relationships. Aussie guys were a bit more skeptical of the guy’s purpose in being there. However, the guys continued to pursue the Aussie guys praying that they would trust them. Matt was able to build a relationship with an Australian student named Tim. For about five weeks, Matt’s time with Tim was very casual. It mostly consisted of Matt going to his dorm room and just hanging out. The last week we were in Australia Tim asked Matt if they could get coffee sometime and discuss God! They met and Matt was able to share the gospel! Tim desires to know Christ; however, he has many questions. Please pray that Tim would seek the answers to those questions and receive Christ!
All in all our summer in Australia was amazing! By doing ministry together, Matt and I were able to connect more on a spiritual level observing each other’s hearts for God and brokenness for our sin. The students were able to see a different side of ministry that pushed them to trust God even in the midst of hardship. We were all able to grow in our belief that if we are faithful to plant the seed then the Lord is faithful to water and grow that seed. Our continuous prayer is that He will use our work in Australia to increase and glorify His Kingdom. Please join us in this prayer.