This past year was full of exciting moments that I would like to highlight here. Let me catch you up with last Spring and bring you to the present.
It all started last Spring with Germanna's Club Fair which was originally scheduled for a Tuesday was bumped to day after Wednesday. The Club Fairs in the Fall semesters are usually well attended but this one was not well attended. The school is not known for advertizing these events well, so it did not have the flare of a "big event" like they do for the Fall semester.
During the fair, our then Student President, Andy Sulser had a great conversation with the (once adversarial) SGA President, "Daniel." Notice that I stated "once adversarial." During the conversation Daniel shared with Andy that he had become a believer in the Jesus, and one of the reasons was "partially due to the presence of Ratio Christi on campus."
You see, as Chapter Directors and apologists, the impact we make with our students in our equpping them pays dividends. Most of the time it is not us who are the ones to reap the harvest, but it is those we equip who are deeper in the front lines of the classroom and the student lounges. The witness of our students toward the former atheistic SGA president is an example of this. He became a believer after seeing the confidence of the student/apologist/evangelist, and was willing to investigate the evidences that the students shared with him. He followed it right into the gospels and softened up to a church where he heard the gospel and the Lord did the rest. Amen.
So when it came to that first Spring semester meeting, it went better than planned for short notice, with five students, two of which were infrequent attenders and one new student who was waiting anxiously for us to get started that semester.
But it gets better. We were given as a meeting location, the Student Activities Lounge. When Andy and I got in the lounge to set things us for the meeting, we noticed that there was our Ratio Christi handouts on the small tables that pepper the lounge, right in the visage of students who go their to hang out. I asked Andy if he put the info in there and he told me that he didn't. We concluded that our new ally, Daniel "SGA Prez" had taken some of our promo information and placed it strategically in the Student lounge.
More from the Spring Semester
That meeting room, being the SGA Lounge, was very strategic because we would have students were drifting in and out of the lounge. Some actually stopped and listened until they had to go to class. My wife baked some cookies that were good student "bait" for anyone that wanted to see what we were about.
Lesson learned. If you are in a community college environment, and you just get a room because of a latenty slow school administration, contact your entire student list and meet anyways. Particularly if you have students mingling in an ear shot of your club meeting or whatever your doing Ratio Christi-wise to equip students. Students are curious, and they will check what you have going on out. Some are afraid they are missing out on something. You will never know what God has in mind as long as you and I are faithful to equip our students in the way of evangelism ungirded by apologetics and followed up with discispleship.
How We Finished the Spring
The Spring semester's last few weeks were been probably the best evenings of ministry that have happened in our two years at Germanna.
We took our students, in discussion format through the What If Christianity is Actually True booklet. The students were very responsive with questions each week. Being that we are in a new location on campus (the Student Lounge right next to SGA Office) we saw new students and gained students that are stepping up showing interest in being potential leaders for the coming year (Fall). We graduated one of our students and the other two moved into vocational training, one being the Virginia State Police Department.
With those then current leadership students getting jobs, the Lord gave us new prospects to carry the leadership ball. God is good and the SGA was liking us.
Over the last three weeks of the Spring semester, we had a Muslim student ("T") visiting us (either because he was following the lead of djinn or letting his free will (which he does not believe in) guide him. Actually we believe the Lord is working on him evidenced by the questions that he is asking. In our exchanges he told me that, for a Christian, I knew a lot about Islam and that he appreciates that I did not misrepresent anything that they teach and that I am kind even though we disagree. That is the Lord for sure. He even has asked me if I would be open to visiting with his father. Because he first visited us, on the week on the step that says, "Jesus is God" (the Trinity), I shared with him that he should watch Nabeel Qureshi's debate with Shabir Ali. He told me that he would check it out.
Seeing some of the interactions that I have had with students with gentleness and respect, our students are becoming more winsome and gaining more courage, talking to anyone with a heartbeat about Ratio Christi and the gospel. The relatability of RC Germanna is also trickling over to the point that some of the staff that are noticing and asking questions about what kind of club we are.
Case in point, the Recruiter for Students (Kim) actually engaged us in a conversation and asked about Ratio Christi. In our exchange she shared with me that her son was an atheist. When I asked her what she believed she stated that she was eclectic. In other words, she was "all over the board." But she took a What If Christianity is Actually True booklet, my card, and is going to keep us on her radar with any questions.
RC Germanna is proof that "gentleness and respect" can go a long way, even to the point of the Lord using us to encourage, engage, and point people to the One who will bring true meaning and purpose in life. We will have more as we go deeper into this Fall semester
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