The nature of TSCF staff work is that we have to say goodbye to many people every year. The turnover of student missionaries is, from the temporary nature of study, high. Students are part of Christian fellowships for a few years, then they graduate and work all round New Zealand and all over the world.
But it’s an honour to see many who’ve come to Jesus for the first time or who’ve had faith in Jesus deepened as a student prayed with and sent out to worship God through the whole of life in various places. And of course no one leaves TSCF, they just move from “student” to “supporter”!
From here at Lincoln University, here is the story of Garth Devereux. He was a student who finished last year. He’s now getting used to a new city, Invercargill, working with Westpac Bank as a senior agribusiness analyst:
God has taken me on a great adventure from when I first joined Christian Fellowship. Today I look back knowing I’ve grown substantially in my faith, and also managed to get a cheeky wee degree on the side.
At Lincoln I’ve accomplished many tremendous feats, including serving hundreds of snags (Ed.: sausages), heaps of toasties and a few southern cheese rolls too. The friends I’ve made at CF will be friends for life. Bonding with people over a mutual faith in Jesus creates a friendship deeper than any other.
Bible studies have often been the backbone of my Christian walk on campus, a mid-week stability to help keep me on the path. Co-leading them last year firstly forced me to be more organised and has also shown me how much I have to learn about the one book which life pivots around.
Mission on campus was the biggest challenge for me, being seen by my uni mates as “one of those Christians.” As time went on those same friends complimented me on staying true to what I believe and not stooping to stuff that they now regret.
I’d like to thank CF for always being a great community with great uplifting biblical chat. CF at Lincoln and my friends there have steered me in the right direction and helped me develop into the man I am today – certainly not perfect but following the narrow path where the Lord leads.
To the TSCF staff and student team in Lincoln and the TSCF support team all over the world, thank you for being part of the story of God working in the life of Garth. Our prayer is that through O-week, the new undergraduate academic year, and the ongoing work amongst post-grads, we get to be all things to all people so that we may win some – including students we’ve not even yet met. We thank God for new life he’s brought to Lincoln students in the past, and we pray that God will continue to draw men and women to himself.
Tim Hodge is the Lincoln team leader