Though COVID-19 has prevented in-person gatherings, God has reminded us that He can still get into places we cannot access in person! Check out this encouraging story from a couple of New Venture leaders (names removed for privacy purposes).
Since COVID-19 hit, we’ve been limited in our ministry just like everyone else. However, God reminded us that He can, through His Word and His Spirit, get into places where we can’t go in person.
For some time now, we’ve been giving Bibles to Kingdom-minded young adults to give to their friends. We also started putting Bibles in bus stops, lobbies of residences (Did you know there are hundreds of international students in each residence all across the country?), and community tiny libraries. Praise God, He has been moving powerfully among the young adults in our region over the last year. Many are fervent in studying His Word, interceding for others and sharing the Gospel. God is mobilizing young people from many different churches and we have been doing everything we can to pour into this movement.
In late November and early December 2020, we asked God what he would like us to do as a Christmas outreach. In previous years, we had gathered with international students in our home for Christmas to share food and make friends but this year was very different with the pandemic. God answered our prayers by opening doors wider than we could have ever imagined.
Instead of reaching just 25 or so students in person over Christmas dinner, God allowed us to distribute 180 gift bags loaded with a Bible, link to a gospel tool, handwritten Christmas greetings, treats, and a useful reusable bag to international students living in dorms and off-site. Altogether, 110 bags were distributed to international students at a local university through our student friends and other Kingdom-minded young adults. Another 70 were distributed to another university’s residences through their chaplaincy. These short visits allowed us to check in on some students and pray for them.
Several young adults shared praise reports and thanks. One said: “Just wanted to let you know that my roommate loved the bag that you gave and also liked the Bible very much. He liked the stories in it.” (From a graduated non-believing student who gave a bag to his non-believing roommate.)
And another: “I am sending this message because I received a gift bag from the chaplaincy yesterday, and it really made my day. I wanted to thank everyone at the chaplaincy, I was not expecting the [Christmas string] lights and I didn’t have a copy of the Bible yet, so it’s nice to finally be able to add that to my book collection. Also, the gum really helped mitigate my first heartburn attack in months. So once again, I thank you for everything you are doing to help make these dark days a little brighter,”
We didn’t know what to expect this Christmas so we asked Him. God showed us what to do, He provided people to help assemble and distribute the gift bags, and He opened doors that we could never open. He is the Lord of the Harvest! Through His Word, we learned some key things as we labour in His Kingdom:
- God showed us that one sows and another reaps and we will rejoice together. (John 4:35-37)
- We need to GO and meet their needs. (Matthew 25:35-36)
- Our job is to sow generously. There is trust, rest and routine in Him. God makes things grow. (Mark 4:26-29)
- We are co-labourers in God’s Kingdom. Some interceded, others wrote cards; some contributed chewing gum, others took trunk loads of bags to give to their friends. This is not about good publicity or to make a name for our ministry. This is about making God known in our city.
We give God the glory because He alone deserves it. Pray with us that the Father will draw people to himself and that many will encounter God through His Word. Pray with us that the nations would be reached through students on our campuses.
Please continue to pray for leaders who are reaching the nations across the country through international student ministry.
Bible Distribution Project
If your New Venture or your church ministry in Canada distributes Bibles in various languages, there is a fund available to cover the associated finances. Please fill out the Bible Distribution Project form here to get started.