In the midst of a crazy year, our mission hasn't changed. God has shown us that the harvest is still huge and people are more open than ever to the Good News of Jesus.
This fall we had more new people than any previous semester involved in UCM. Besides our usual outreach, we had new people reaching out to us desperate for spiritual community - a new friend Kayley contacted us through our webpage, August found us through UTC's webpage, and Shilaya & Nia stalked down our UCM outreach tables everyday during the first week of school.
Sai is a graduate student from India who we met at a UCM international welcome dinner several months ago. If you talk to him for a few minutes, you'll hear him say over and over, “God brought me to UCM”. A friend from India recently asked him, "Have you found any friends there?" He said, "No, I've found a family in UCM."
Although he's not (yet!) a Christian, he is a definite Person of Peace who is growing in faith and obedience. He is in one our Roots Groups (small Bible studies) and he's also in a one-on-one, weekly study going through the core stories of the Bible with an older student. Sai is learning about the God of the Bible, reaching out to others & is now joining our Core Team of student leaders.
Stare-off between Lisa and Sai
One year ago, Clara was a freshmen girl confused about life & morality, anti-religion, emotionally unhealthy, and pretty self-centered. A student leader reached out to her and patiently loved her, then the entire UCM family embraced her. In the last year, God has grown Clara and softened her heart. She is now in a weekly Roots Group, very open to faith, finding spiritual answers, and caring for & serving others.
Clara (middle) with friends
Student leaders were eating in the University Center during the first week of school when they saw Morgan eating by herself. They ate with her and became her first friends at college. Morgan is very busy with school work and not very familiar with faith, but she agreed to join one of our Roots Groups. Every week she is learning about Jesus, obeying & beginning to share her faith.
We believe that gathering in community is a necessary ingredient for discipleship, even during a pandemic. So we purposely planned lots of different connection points for a very different kind of semester. Some people met every week at Breaking Bread for free pancakes and hanging out, other met for dinner and worship at our Launch meeting, some only met on Zoom, others in person, etc.
Towards the end of the semester we were finally able to get most of our people together for a Family Reunion event. More than 30 of us spent half a day together, glad to be together at least once!
UCM is intentional about making disciples who make more disciples. The primary way we do this is by getting people into Roots Groups. These are small groups that read the Bible, hear God, obey Him and hold each other accountable through Discovery Bible Study. This semester we started with two groups and quickly multiplied to four. Each Roots Group has two student leaders, so more groups meant more leaders!
God is raising up more leaders than ever before in UCM. This semester we had five leaders on our Core Team. These are students who pray & fast each week, meet for missional training each month, lead our outreach, and lead Roots Groups. And God is already adding more students for next semester!
Disciples of Jesus follow Him in his mission. It's been tough to reach out in our usual ways, but we're committed to loving the lost, serving them and planting seeds of the Gospel. God is still moving on campus, so we want to go out with Him. There are so many examples of God opening doors this semester, including the following:
- Meeting a new girl named Ryanna in a coffee shop. Ryanna quickly made friends, then became a committed part of a Roots Group
- Distributing 60 care & prayer bags to international students with the help of UTC's international office
- Students regularly going door to door, praying over dorms and delivering care bags
Praise God for working among this next generation! The harvest is huge, but the workers are few.
Our vision is to train & send out 80 disciple makers (two for every dormitory floor on UTC’s campus) to regularly serve, plant seeds of the Gospel, and start reproducing discipleship groups - then spread the movement out to the rest of the world.
Join us in praying for more students who will work in the harvest fields!