TSCF gathered the various healthcare-related student groups to a two-day camp, “Called to Care,” to explore how faith, work and health all interact. It was a diverse group with 30 medical, nursing, physiotherapy, dental, social work and pharmacy students who want to better serve God and people. We were especially blessed to have Anthony Hill, NZ’s Health and Disabilities Commissioner, speak on his role and his journey with Jesus, along with Gareth Jones, a Christian working in the field of bioethics.
Rebecca Thew, who leads the Pharmacy Christian Fellowship, found it a great way to start the year off on a personal and intentional note. “It was an amazing way to bond together with people from a variety of professions on a united front,” she said. “We share a common bond with our main goal of helping our brothers and sisters, but as Christians we also live out our work as a way of desiring God and loving one another.”
– Simon and Rosie Sim, Dunedin staff team
Each Thursday evening a small team of TSCF students and staff head along to Aquinas College (a hall of residence for first year students) to cook pancakes for the students and fellowship with them. We do all this through Red Frogs, which started in Australia and is now in several countries. It provides a positive presence in drug- and alcohol-fuelled environments where students gather.
One Thursday, I was blown away when two first-year students came and asked our team for prayer. These two young men were not Christians, yet they both had the faith and confidence to seek prayer for some things they have been dealing with.
A student and I spent some time getting to know these guys and praying with them. They were interested in catching up again over some coffee to chat further. Please join with me in praying for these young guys. Their hearts are open and I am praying that God will keep working in them.
– Michael Bresler, ministry intern
It was a joy to join in with Christian students at Lincoln University, from at least 10 local churches and several nations, praying before lectures in a public place on the Monday after March 15, as well as supporting the Muslim student association.
– Tim Hodge, Lincoln staff
For the University of Canterbury Christian Union, the weeks following the shootings have been more challenging than usual. It is difficult to comprehend what has happened in our beautiful city, but reassuring to know that we have a God who is control. While we often foolishly look to prayer as a last resort, we have been reminded that we have not been given a spirit of fear and timidity and that prayer is a powerful thing.
A real encouragement has been how the Christian clubs on campus have banded together. We collectively manned the safe space room on campus, a place where people can relax and escape the stress. This led to greater discussion about how the clubs can collaborate throughout the year, which is exciting to consider.
We are also grateful for our TSCF family who has faithfully prayed for us and our city. It is encouraging to know we have so many people who care about us. Please continue to pray that God will guide us and reveal the best way we can show Christ’s love on campus.
– Charlotte Keir, student leader
BAY OF PLENTY
Tauranga now has its much longed-for university campus. The new University of Waikato campus opened in March in the heart of Tauranga’s CBD, and TSCF is pioneering a student group there.
To welcome students back from the Easter break, the fledgling Christian Fellowship group ran a “Resurrection: Hoax or History” display on campus—supplemented with hot cross buns and a quiz.
Easter provides a great opportunity for students to present and share the compelling evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was a privilege to share the three resurrection themes on display and invite them to consider them as they munched on a hot cross bun:
• The resurrection was prophetically predicted
• The resurrection was credibly confirmed
• The resurrection is eternally experienced (through believer testimonies)
Our purpose was two-fold—to present an evangelistic display, and to raise awareness of the Christian Fellowship.
Tauranga collaborated with the local Steiger mission movement, aimed at reaching global youth. A big “thank you” for their support!
Please pray for the growth of TSCF’s mission to students on the new Tauranga CBD campus and at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.
– Dave Hodgkinson, Waikato/Bay of Plenty team leader
Professor Peter Lineham, a former TSCF and IFES Board member, has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to religious history and the community. He recently retired from his position at Massey University.