I love praying for missionaries directly involved in creative and reflective evangelism. Not only do I get the joy of partnering with them in their work… but I get to learn from them and steal all their ideas that they share in the prayer newsletters!
These little notes were sent out by Paddy at the end of last year. Bear in mind they are very much sketches of ideas sent out to prayer supporters, not fully-formed articles and arguments, so read them with that in mind. They are reprinted here with permission.
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This week is Week 13 and another year is drawing to a close. It has been a full semester with many EUers meeting to read the Bible, be taught by God, and to work at living lives that bring glory to Jesus. Once again we farewell about 150 students who will graduate at the end of this year. We have also have started preparing for 2018 and the influx of (God-willing) many who will be interested and committed to joining the SUEU next year.
The end of this year brings me to ten years of serving the students of the SUEU at Sydney Uni campus. I thought it would be a great time to write to you — my supporters — with some reflections on the last ten years, and also to say thank you for your support over this time. My plan is to send out three updates with each one covering a particular aspect of campus ministry and the changes and challenges of the last ten years. One of the key reasons why I was appointed to the role st Sydney Uni was not to be the evangelist but rather to affect the culture of evangelism within the SUEU. Ten years on is not a bad timeframe within which to consider how the culture has changed.
As best as I can conservatively estimate, when I arrived there were about 5–8 people per year becoming Christians. Now (under God) we see about 30 people per year place their trust in Jesus. And these are just the ones we know of. In the last ten years, we have trained at least 750 students in personal evangelism, and have seen hundreds more investigate the claim of Jesus.
Similarly we started an ENetwork which catered particularly for the 10–15% of EUers who were really keen on evangelism. We have seen nearly 250 people come through this and be specifically trained, encouraged and supported in their passion for evangelism. Likewise we have attempted annual evangelistic activities across the entire SUEU by using a variety of methods and programs, thus giving a well-rounded experience to EUers during their four years with us.
The SUEU is, according to the students, a mission taskforce, that seeks to reach the lost on the campus of Sydney Uni with the gospel of Jesus. The current evangelistic culture is one of biblical, thoughtful and intentional evangelism. A culture where the lost are captivated by the saving message of Jesus, where EUers invite and bring friends to hear the message of the gospel, and where we ask people to commit to following Jesus. Praise God for the way He has worked in the last ten years!
I am so thankful to God that He has allowed me to be part of this great team effort over these last ten years. We do not know (humanly speaking) the ongoing and future impact that this input into the lives of these hundreds of students will have. I am overjoyed when I met graduates who point to their time in the SUEU as a formative one for shaping their attitude, convictions and skills in personal evangelism – I suspect and hope that there are hundreds more like them.
As you pray for me and the ministry on the campus, could I please ask that you remember the many whom we have trained, and give thanks to God for the wonderful opportunity that we have had? Please also pray that we would continue to train and equip future generations of students for a lifetime of evangelism in their various contexts.
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