Campus ministry certainly isn’t all fun and games, but sometimes there’s a lot of it sprinkled into the holy moments. Here’s a story from Beth Jarvis Silliman, leader of the Globalscope Unterwegs campus ministry in Tübingen, Germany, about the group’s recent weekend camping trip in the Black Forest.
Well, what did you expect would happen?
There was whipped cream, peanut butter puffs, and lots and lots of water balloons. Game time. As soon as I saw people running into the kitchen I knew this was getting out of hand. People came running back out of the kitchen with buckets, water bottles, pitchers, large serving bowls — basically anything they could find that would hold water long enough to pour onto someone else. Even our grocery bags were used in the battle. My one mistake was when I attacked Erin with whipped cream before realizing that she also had a whipped cream container. It got messy.
But what did I expect would happen when we took about 30 people into the Black Forest for a weekend of singing, eating, games, talks, and campfire songs?
I still pause when I hear a student say, “I never expected to find so many good friends at University.” I think, really? You didn’t expect blue skies and grass stains and full bellies and laughter with new friends? And that somehow all of this would add up to you learning to love who you are and that person sitting across from you?
Then there it is, the point of the whole weekend: countless moments of new students opening up and realizing that they belong, and realizing this new belonging comes with some expectations of ourselves and of God.
A lot of students, and maybe some of us, have stopped expecting to find the good. Some of them can’t even imagine expecting God — if there is a God — to want to do anything for them and with them.
For our annual weekend away the student leaders chose to talk about expectations. It was really a way to talk about the hope that God wouldn’t leave us where we are. One student leader talked about the physical abuse she had suffered as a child and how she believed the lie that she wasn’t loved. When she became a Christian it didn’t make everything completely better and perfect. It just made her loved. And this new awareness made the difference. She could believe and expect that her parents did love her, even though they couldn’t protect her. And she could forgive her abuser, which was the weirdest mystery of all.
Because of her faith, she could name the injustice done to her. Because of her faith, she could see the new life rising up in her.
Another student leader, who two years ago didn’t even believe, shared the moment of when she realized she had fallen short. She had not met someone else’s expectations. And because of her faith she found a space for confession and forgiveness. She gave an example to all of us of how and why we need forgiveness.
You are loved. And because of this you can hope and expect more.
Before we packed up on Sunday morning we did what’s called “the thankful box.” For about 40 minutes everyone said out loud what they are thankful for. Water fights. Victories and loses at mini golf and crab soccer. Hand motions of “Moose Moose.” The kitchen team. The neighbor who yelled at us when we sang Red Wagon too loud at the campfire. Moments of just pure fun. And in the midst of that comes this: “Thank you for being a place where I can join in. Thank you for the talks. Thank you for helping me feel safe.”
Thank you for helping us show these students in Tübingen, Germany, that God loves them. Thank you for praying and supporting our weekend away. It was an incredible weekend and a win for everyone.
June has been an incredibly full month for us. But with it, we have seen that faith is giving voice to the pain in our lives while not ignoring the new life.
And there are the remnants of cream and water and sunshine reminding us to expect the unexpected.
Longtime campus minister Beth Jarvis, who serves with Unterwegs in Tübingen, Germany, got a glimpse of the bigger picture when a chance remark from a passing church deacon helped her look at her group in a new way. Here’s her story:
In one moment it was there: a glimpse of the bigger picture.
It came from an unexpected source. A church deacon passed by me at the end of our last big event of the semester in the cafe room of one of our local church partners. The deacons and elders had been meeting upstairs through the whole event, which always makes me a little nervous because, well, we’re loud. I was taking out the trash and he stopped me to say, “Beth, I love seeing your group here. All these different students coming together. They look so happy. To me this is what heaven will look like.”
At that point, I too looked through the window at my own group and saw it through his eyes. There it was: heaven on earth.
In this one room, there was a lot happening and a lot about to happen. There was Vanessa, who has just finished her degree and is preparing to serve with Globalscope in Birmingham, England. She wants to be a part of making Birmingham “as it is in heaven.” There was Katharina, who has been part of the backbone of Unterwegs since the beginning. She’s always been there, arms open, ready to welcome anyone. To her God is big and God is love. And recently she’s added to that belief that God is also personal, interested in her. She recently joined four other German students and nine Georgia Tech students in a trip to other universities in Germany, praying and dreaming about planting a third and fourth Unterwegs in the coming years. To them, the future is big and wide and open because their God is big and wide and opening up His kingdom before them.
This picture of heaven on earth grows larger and larger. There’s Julia Kopp, who is loud and wonderful. She will come on staff with us in the fall. When asked what she liked about Unterwegs in her interview, she said, “Unterwegs is more than just the four walls of a building.” She wants to be a part of this movement and step into her full potential.
There’s Anna Blume, who was at that moment preparing to leave to serve. She is now at Auburn Christian Fellowship. She wants to know if full-time ministry is for her. She’s a little nervous about it, but inside her is a beautiful and strong woman minister. The strength with which she loves people is inspiring.
There was Max, who is dating Emily, my teammate. The love they have together for ministry is contagious. Max will join our team in April as a German intern and in the fall he will also go work at Auburn for a couple of months. He wants to see ministry in a different culture. He wants to learn what it is like to be a part of something not contained by one language, one culture, one city.
And in all these wonderful and unique people I see the future of Unterwegs.
There’s Manne goofing off with my teammate Erin. Erin will plant an Unterwegs in Freiburg, Germany, in the fall of 2016. In the meantime, she’s hanging out with Manne and sharing life with him. Manne is opening up so much, right now. I can no longer imagine Unterwegs without him. And I still don’t fully understand all that is happening and about to happen. Now Manne is asking about opportunities he might have to serve, to see God’s kingdom grow.
It is growing. We see this at Unterwegs and we show it to the students here, empowered by your love and prayers and support. Soon we are going to be adding three new international teammates: Julia; Raúl from Globalscope Spain; and Robin from Globalscope England. They are all joining us in September and I’m really excited to have an international team.
So, yes, as I looked through the window, the same window the deacon looked through when he decided to not get mad about the noise, this is what I saw. And what I see. I see an image of Heaven on earth. And it is just a glimpse of this bigger picture of what God is doing right now.
New campus ministry helps raise funds for El Pozo project
The newest Globalscope campus ministry, Roots in Edinburgh, Scotland, held its first-ever ministry retreat last month, and it was a great success, according to campus ministers Tim and Ansley Crabtree.
“Eleven students came with us to a small retreat center in Newcastleton, Scotland, for a weekend of great food, fun and meaningful reflections,” said Tim.
The team was thrilled to see many examples of growth in the ministry and students’ lives during the weekend.
“We saw students beginning to take ownership of the ministry by sharing personal stories, leading campfire songs, and encouraging others to become a part of Roots,” said Tim.
The retreat was just one example of the growth and success that the fledgling ministry is enjoying this term.
“We’ve continued to have new students get involved in our Tuesday night weekly dinners, and have added a second small group that discusses the Christian foundation of Roots,” Tim added.
One new initiative that has been added this term is the “Spend Differently” fundraiser for the Globalscope Puebla (Mexico) “10 for 10” project. This project at the end of March will celebrate El Pozo’s 10th anniversary by building 10 houses for poor families in rural Mexico.
“We were invited to help raise funds and workers for El Pozo’s project, so we asked the students to make different choices in their spending and donate the difference during the six weeks of Lent,” said Tim. “It has been a great way to get our students thinking about the world outside themselves and sparked some conversations about Lent and Easter.
“Please pray with us at Roots for El Pozo’s upcoming project,” he added, “and for students in Scotland to learn and grow through participating in this global service project!”
Students and staff from the En Vivo campus ministry in Salamanca, Spain, will be racing for love on Valentine’s Day this Saturday.
The 5K Salamanca Love Race will raise funds to send some Spanish students to Mexico during spring break to build houses with the El Pozo campus ministry in Puebla. The ministry is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year by building 10 houses for poor families with Casas Por Cristo.
“We have four students who are seriously interested in making the trip, but it will cost about $4,000 to get them there,” said En Vivo campus minister Dan Dillard. “We’ve been working all year to help them raise this money in various ways, and the Love Race is one of them.”
The team has some help from local businesses in the form of prizes and publicity, and are hoping for a big turnout of runners.
“Our students have put a lot of work and prayer into this event and we pray their faithfulness will be rewarded,” added Dan. “Please pray for a miraculous turnout!”
Many international college students head back to classes in the fall about the same time as their American counterparts, and that means CMF’s Globalscope campus ministers are rolling out their welcome mats with activities, studies and, of course, free food.
During the summer break, the various ministries retooled their plans and, in some cases, their facilities for a new start. The one-year-old Roots ministry in Edinburgh, Scotland, for example, did a makeover on its small campus house, but also decided to move its Tuesday Night at Roots event to a local restaurant.
“With a year under our belts we were able to make some informed decisions about how to best use the small space we have,” said Kate and Andrew Owens. “But we ran into a great problem last year that our Tuesday events grew too large for our space. This year we’re moving to a local restaurant, which will open up so many opportunities for us to grow and explore new programming.”
And as they begin their second year of ministry, the Roots team will have the exciting opportunity to welcome back students who were involved last year.
“We’ve never been able to do that before!” said Kate Owens. “Although we don’t know exactly what this will look like, we are excited to give these students more leadership and responsibilities.”
Established campus ministries such as El Pozo in Puebla, Mexico, also have some changes planned this year.
“We have two new staff members and three new interns from Brazil, Chile and Mexico,” said team leader Kami Burns. ”And we have a new group of student leaders who will join the two groups returning from last year.”
El Pozo is also expanding its outreach, with new weekly Bible studies at Tec de Monterrey, another university across town, and a new event called Cine Pozo.
“Our interns created Cine Pozo,” said Kami. “We show a movie and talk about it afterwards. It’s been a great way to get new people plugged into our community.”
In Thailand, the Globalscope ministry staff at Grapevine, led by Mark and Princess Bernadino, got off to a great start on the new semester by spending time on campus meeting new students and their parents and helping them move into their dorms.
“Classes at Thammasat University Rangsit started on Aug. 18, and our team spent a whole week meeting and inviting new students to Grapevine and prayer-walking
on campus,” said Mark. “We also spent days cleaning and decorating the Grapevine house with help from some returning students.”
Regular activities for this team include a family dinner on Tuesday nights, a girls’ night of cooking, eating and Bible study with Princess Bernadino, and a worship café featuring music, group games, conversations and prayer.
Please continue to pray for a great school year in all seven of our Globalscope campus ministries around the world!
Many really good things happened in CMF ministries in 2013! Here are just a few highlights we came across as we looked back over the past several months:
GOOD NEWS from our Child Sponsorship partners, Missions of Hope International (MoHI) in Kenya:
- Twenty-eight students from the original class in MoHI’s first school took the national exam for college entrance and placement in October. MoHI began with 50 children in one school in 2000, and has now grown to nearly 11,700 children in 19 schools.
- About 2,000 new students enrolled in MoHI schools in January 2014.
- 89 percent of the 277 Class Eight students passed their exams to enter high school recently. The national average is just 40-50 percent.
A NEW CAMPUS MINISTRY was launched by our Globalscope division earlier this year when six campus ministers arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, in February and March. The ROOTS ministry is the seventh focused on sharing Christ with international college students, and joins thriving Globalscope campus ministries in Chile, England, Germany, Spain, Mexico and Thailand. An eighth ministry will be launched in Montevideo, Uruguay, next year.
CHURCH PLANTERS in Africa graduated from two CMF training facilities this fall. There were 13 graduates in December from the Turkana Bible Training Institute in Turkana, Kenya, who completed 18 intensive week-long classes. An additional six church-planter families from Bagamoyo, Tanzania, graduated from the training facility in Arusha, Tanzania, in November.
THREE MEDICAL CLINICS in Africa expanded this year or are making plans to do so in the very near future.
- A modern maternity clinic was added onto the Community Health Partners Clinic in Mara Rianta in the Maasai Mara game reserve in southwest Kenya this fall. More than 5,000 women a year will now receive up-to-date maternity services there. The total cost of the facility was around $125,000 and was funded by several British foundations that offer safaris in the area.
- The CMF medical clinic in the remote town of Aygali, Ethiopia, is making plans to expand with a permanent, concrete block building by the end of 2014. The Aygali Community Health Project clinic run by CMF missionaries Craig and Allison Fowler currently treats approximately 1,000 patients a month, plus another 70 to 300 mothers and babies in a monthly vaccination clinic. Recent changes in the country’s health policy require an immediate upgrade to concrete block for continued licensing and operation of all health facilities. The new clinic will be complete with a pharmacy, guard house, latrine and water system.
- The Ivory Coast Clinic in Abengourou expanded this year to include maternity care and hospitalizations. After the purchase of an adjacent property and renovations on the existing structure, the new clinic is now open for pre- and post-natal care and hopes to be equipped for deliveries within the coming year. The new building hosts offices for CHE social workers and the expanding CHE program, which will soon include a child sponsorship program. This new facility is providing opportunities for more women and children to not only hear, but experience, the good news and compassion of Christ through quality medical care and health and nutrition classes.
THE CMF ASIA TEAM hosted four short-term teams from U.S. churches this summer. The visitors assisted the team at three different Bible camps, touching the lives of more than 200 Asian students in grades two to 12.
NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN CHURCH in Pachuca, Mexico, added a new worship center to its facility in October. The church was launched four years ago with 14 people and the help of CMF missionaries Greg and Vicki Syverson. The new 2,000-square-foot multipurpose room tripled the church’s space and will be used for Sunday worship, sporting events, concerts and children’s programs. The 140 church members themselves raised almost $10,000 for the nearly $35,000 project.
LONG-TERM CHE TRAINING of nationals in Mae Ai, Thailand, a small town north of Chiang Mai, led to the successful development this year of an aquaponics unit that grows fish and edible crops in a symbiotic system and is paving the way for further community projects. CMF missionary Jeff Prus is assisting the Mae Ai team leaders – Chen Chai and Jom – with growing corn and other vegetables through aquaponics and raising pigs. The food and pigs will be sold and the funds used to help the community. The team has set up a training center that will develop projects such as immunizations, a recycling program and school scholarships.
Globalscope campus minister Kami Burns had to postpone her plans to take an advanced college course in world missions because she was too busy with all the real-world mission activity going on around her in Puebla, Mexico, this summer.
El Pozo, the Puebla campus ministry, hosted three short-term church teams this summer, plus two REACH interns and a professor and three students from Point University. While some missionaries feel that short-term trips don’t add long-term value to their ministries, Kami found the benefits to El Pozo and the team members themselves to be significant.
“These people poured their blood, sweat, and tears into making El Pozo even more incredible for our students,” said Kami. “They built meaningful relationships with our students and they saw God move.
“Kaylin, for example, got to witness Juanelo’s baptism, and now she wants to study abroad with Globalscope in Scotland,” she said. “Joe saw how he could use his engineering skills to bring clean water to our nearby villages, while Ricky connected with people from all over the world in the name of Jesus. Israel saw Derek leading worship in Spanish and was inspired by the faith of a high school student from Florida. Tavaris learned about business as mission and saw how God could use his passion for business and ministry at the same time. Christina got far outside her comfort zone on her first trip outside the United States, while Christine fell even more in love with Mexico on her third trip to Puebla. Jordan experienced how God has given him passions and talents that could be used for the kingdom in campus ministry. And last Tuesday, my friend Iván came to En Vivo for the first time after getting to know the group from Mountain Christian Church while he gave us a tour of his campus.”
The summer visitors were part of several different CMF programs and had a variety of connections with the El Pozo ministry.
Two of the church teams – Generations Christian Church, Trinity, Fla., and First Baptist Church, Gallatin, Tenn. — were part of the Summerscope 2013 program, which encourages supporting churches to send summer teams to GS campus ministries for special projects. Interns Ashlan Rose and Abbey Sharts were part of REACH, the summer internship program for young people. Alan Kemper, professor of business at Point University, brought three students to Puebla as part of a social entrepreneurship class.
The most recent visit came from a group of 14 from Mountain Christian Church, Joppa, Md., and was led by Nathan McDade, the pastor of young adults and groups. Nathan is the former team leader at El Pozo.
Kami has a special affection for short-term teams because she first came to Mexico in 2007 for a short-term experience.
“For me, the best part is seeing how God uses a week in Mexico to bring people closer to him, whether those people are visitors or students,” she said. “I live and work at El Pozo because while I was first here short-term God showed me how I could be used for His kingdom. These past three months I’ve loved watching dozens of people have that same experience as they’ve spent time here. To all the newest members of the El Pozo family, thank you so much for trusting God, raising money, getting on a plane, and coming to love and serve El Pozo with your whole heart and soul, even when it’s just for seven short days. You’ve blessed us more than words can ever express.”
Globalscope, CMF’s campus ministry outreach, will hold a 5k run to raise funds for its seven international campus communities on August 3, 2013.
The event will be held at Heritage Christian Church in Fayetteville, Ga. Registration for the run is $25 in advance and $30 on race day and includes a race t-shirt and refreshments. And even if you’re not a runner, there are still ways you can help, says Race Director Lukas Fortunato, a member of the Globalscope staff.
“We’ll need volunteers helping with set-up on Friday, Aug. 3, and on race day we’ll need volunteers handing out race numbers, holding signs, manning water stations, cleaning the facilities, and so on,” he said.
Lukas is also recruiting sponsors who can assist the event with financial donations or gifts of goods and services.
To learn more about the event and register to run, volunteer or serve as a sponsor, please visit the CMF here.