The first term is often frantic. Much of our energy is spent on gathering our core students from past years and restarting our small groups and other regular meetings on campus. In the midst of this, we seek to connect with and draw in new students, with a particular concern for those who haven’t yet made a decision to follow Jesus as Lord. The second term offers us the opportunity to focus on this more deliberately. This year we had the privilege of hosting a series of talks engaging with questions of truth and purpose at UJ and Wits, in partnership with RZIM (and other Christian student societies at Wits). Praise God for the many students who attended these talks, for those who were impacted by the gospel they heard, and for those who have begun to explore the message of Jesus as a result!
Some of the highlights from Festival of Thought at UJ & Wits
If you’re familiar with FOCUS, you’ll know that our small group Bible studies are the heartbeat of our ministry. We’re reaching around 300 students through 46 small groups that meet every week during the term. Some of these stutter along. Some grind to a halt within a short span of time. But many thrive. One such group is the one that began meeting at The Richmond early this year.
Through 2017 we witnessed a new privately owned residence for students being built in Richmond Avenue, Auckland Park. Our prayer was that in 2018 we could establish a Bible study there. Praise the Lord – we have! A student leader we already knew moved into the residence, and he, alongside one of our ministry interns, established a group that meets on Wednesday evenings in a common room. At the final meeting of the first semester, 24 students attended, and the leader had to stand up to be heard! We praise the Lord that at the start of next semester we will split into two groups.
Praise God for the countless opportunities we have to connect with students who are hungry to know God.
Pray that those students who have been plugged into small groups would deeply grasp the gospel of Jesus as they study the Bible and so grow to delight in him more and more.
Pray for the group that meets at The Richmond. Thank the Lord for the unexpectedly fast growth of this group. Pray for continued growth in numbers. Pray for many who attend irregularly to become more regular. Pray for many conversions.
Pray for our other regular meetings (campus talks, one-to-ones, and so on), that by them we are not only leading students to behold the gracious and sovereign God who rules, but helping them to see how his sovereignty affects every moment and part of their lives and our world.
Pray for our students as they write exams. Often they are anxious because they see their future as disproportionately dependent on their performance. Pray that they would see their future as safe in God’s hands because of their relationship with him in Jesus, and that that would free them to be diligent without being fearful of the outcome.
Pray for our students as most of them travel home over the vacation. Many are from families who don’t follow Jesus, contexts in which there aren’t great churches for them to grow and serve in, and through the pull of old friends find it easy to slip back into sinful patterns of life. Pray for their joy, perseverance and witness.