Every first week of school hits me like a gush of wind when you open the door on a windy day. It's like we are walking out of the slow-paced last weeks of summer and open the door to the fall and WHAM... Hello, fall! Hello, freshmen! Hello, dinners and meetings and small groups and discipleship and where did my husband go?
But we love it. Each fall brings with it the hopeful question of, "Lord, how will your kingdom come to Southern Miss this fall?"
Andrew and I heard a story from a different ministry in town. A man working with this ministry asked a child, "Do you know Jesus?" The child answered, "No, where does he live?" While many or most of the students walking on Southern's campus know about Jesus, he has just as much relevance to their life as this little boy. "Where does he live? I think he lives outside of my day to day living. I think he lives on churches on Sundays. I think he lives in the future when I want to settle down and have a family. I think he lives only for the put-together, for the pure, for the shameless."
Would you pray with us that this fall we would be able to communicate the real Jesus to these students? That they would know He is for the broken. He is for their coming and their going. He is for the depths of despair they feel and He is the author of the joy that springs up in their hearts.
Last week we had several leadership students in our house for two days helping us to think through and plan what ministry will look like this year. Andrew and Mitch are the only full-time staff this semester, so the need is great for students to step in and take leadership roles. We were so pleased with our students' excitement... not about a group called "Cru", but about the opportunities they would have to invite their friends and other students to come behold Jesus.
On Friday we helped freshmen move into their dorms. Today and tomorrow Andrew will be manning a booth on campus to hopefully meet new freshmen and invite them into our fold. Tomorrow night we are hosting a leadership dinner challenging and training students to facilitate small gospel-centered community groups all over campus. On Thursday we will be hosting a freshmen cookout that will be a kick-off to a three week co-ed Bible study. Next Tuesday will be our first large group meeting.
It is a busy week ahead, but one we enter into with great joy and hope. Lord, may your Kingdom come at Southern Miss as it is in heaven.