Many students arrive on campus worried. As students and young people, we have a lot we can worry about: our careers, relationships, climate change, wars and super viruses. The TSCF groups at the University of Auckland had the great privilege of joining together and sharing the hope that Christ gives us. Our goal was to point out that all this suffering is the result of sin and ultimately, we need a solution to sin to give us hope. Our message was that Jesus takes away sin and we can have hope by trusting him.
In the middle of both the City and Grafton campuses we handed out free hot chocolates and asked people to show on a pinboard graph what they thought of the human story: More hopeful or hopeless? More comedy or tragedy? In many of my conversations, people said things like: “Trying to remain hopeful stops me despairing.” or “I feel hopeful but I don’t know why.” I could really sense that people wanted more than the superficial hope they had; they were looking for someone to trust in. One conversation that stood out to me was one with someone who was interested in a variety of faiths and said he wanted to see people work together in “pursuit of truth”. We talked for a long time.
Everyone was invited to an event at the end of the week with a short talk explaining the gospel, a panel answering questions from the audience and three students sharing their testimonies. I was really encouraged by the way that people across our four TSCF groups came together and really got behind the mission week. I think it was because we understood that reaching out to the lost is something God cares about.
If someone seemed keen to continue the conversation, we asked for their contact details then followed them up with the aim of introducing them to Jesus by reading the gospel of Luke together. This meant there was a seamless flow from the first conversation, to reading the Bible with someone and being invited to church.
I am really pleased with what we did and how it turned out. I’m so proud of the team that I worked with and I’m deeply humbled by having had this opportunity to share the grace God has given me with other people at my university.
Michael Nuysink, Student leader, University of Auckland