When I began with TSCF in 2017 I picked up the reins from Li Lian Lim, leading TSCF’s work in the Waikato, but with a significant difference: being based in Tauranga to pioneer student ministry in the Bay of Plenty. I’m grateful to God for providing colleagues Nick Goodwin and Nadine Liddle to oversee TSCF’s work in the Waikato. This story of change focuses on the TSCF Hamilton group at the University of Waikato in recent years.

David Hodgkinson
Waikato/Bay of Plenty Team Leader


True Witness – Growing in boldness to engage the campus

Over time TSCF Hamilton students have grown in their confidence in the gospel and desire to reach out to students. A key catalyst for this was performing The Mark Drama in 2021 and 2022. Through this, students grew in courage to be true witnesses.

The TSCF Hamilton group has increasingly used Orientation Weeks to connect with students creatively. This year they carried a ‘Student Survival Kit’ around campus. Students were invited to enter the draw to win it and the online entry form invited students to meet with a TSCF student to discuss Christian faith, with over 60 students being open to this.


Home Base community gatherings – Weekly on campus

Students attending the weekly Home Base gathering have become part of a vibrant group of Christian students. Inductive Bible study following lunch together, has become a regular rhythm. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, time has been needed to allow students to re-form friendships. Home Base has enabled this, with average attendance increasing from 12 to 22 students per week.


Deep Thought events, One-to-one discipleship

Deep Thought is one of TSCF’s four aims and is encapsulated by Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” Forums on Science and Faith, talks on Suffering and Evil have sought to help students work through some of the big questions of life, as have Alpha course content.


Developing students into leaders

Raising up a new generation of student leaders is an ongoing focus of TSCF. Recent Club President Christina Bateson comments, “TSCF has offered lots of opportunities to practice and develop leadership skills. I have attended retreats and workshops that focused on evangelism and had support from Nadine and Nick and the other student leaders while learning how to help run a functioning club, chair meetings and run events, all while keeping the focus on our mission.”


Salvation and Faith commitments – we rejoice and pray for more, in a sea of lost students

We’ve had a small but steady, and we sense long-lasting, number of students making commitments to follow Jesus in the last few years. Newly-saved students have been welcomed into the existing group and encouraged to join a church. All this has been really exciting for our student leaders to see and participate in.

We sense that each month, semester and year over the last seven years, and even before that, has contributed to where things are at now. We rejoice and pray for more, realising that whilst we have enjoyed growth in our campus group, there remain thousands of students to reach with the gospel on the University of Waikato campus, and on many other campuses across the nation.