Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Be More than a Bystander

Last spring, when we said goodbye to the old school year and left for summer, I had a protruding midsection that was somewhat noticeable. Now I have a belly that feels like it is ready to pop! Noah Joseph will be here soon. As I have thought about the whole process of babies growing and getting ready to be born, I’ve also thought of the wonderful, new things God does in us, and through us, and among us. I am just as confident that God is doing some awesome things with the Wesley Foundation right now. Many of the positive signs of life and growth began a while ago, and they are just now getting ready to be revealed. We have wonderful student leaders who love this ministry, who want to see the Wesley Foundation be all it can be, who genuinely care for all the other students, and who (most importantly) love Jesus with all they got. We have a wonderful Campus Ministry Intern, who has sacrificed much and stepped out on faith (in a big way) to join us in ministry this year. I know God is going to honor all of these hearts who are so ready and willing to be used for His glory. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a great group of people who are dedicated to serving Jesus at the Wesley Foundation.

If this summer has been less than stellar, if you are bored out of your mind, if you can’t wait to get away from home and a grueling summer job, know that what awaits you is full of the promise of God’s joy and awesome wonders. I want to challenge you and encourage you to be more than a by-stander this year. Step in deep with us. God is going to continually blow us away with His gracious and wonderful works of love and power. But you might miss it if you just stay on the side-lines. And more importantly, you might miss an important part of God’s plan for your life as well.

If you know a new student or returning student who needs to receive our e-letter, send me their address. I would love to welcome them personally and add them to our list.

Have a great week! Can’t wait to see you soon!



Monday, August 09, 2004

Helping Hands

Hello! I am so excited that you are coming back to school! I missed seeing your bright shining faces this summer. Some of you are getting this e-letter for the first time. It was good to see you at the Info Fair in Diddle on Tuesday. I hope Master Plan has been a wonderful experience for each of you.

As time has gotten closer for school to start, I have really seen the hand of the Lord moving on behalf of this ministry. This is how much Jesus loves you. About two or three weeks ago, one of the members of Broadway United Methodist Church approached me and shared how her Sunday School class was looking for a service project. She asked if she could bring our campus ministry before them as a possibility so that they could help us get our facilities ready for school. Well, of course I said yes! When she brought it before the class, they voted overwhelmingly to come and spiff up our buildings and yard. Let me tell you what kind of miracle this was. Last summer Tim (my husband) and I spent a lot of time cleaning, organizing, and making things ready for the new school year. This summer has been a totally different story. Being in my last trimester of pregnancy has made it next to impossible to do some of the simplest things. There are days that I can’t even put my shoes on without help. I can’t even get up out of a chair without help. And with the increasing size and weight of my belly, I have come to have quite a bit of sympathy for turtles and bugs who get stuck on their back, finding themselves laying there helpless with arms and legs waving in the air. This offer of service from the Unity Sunday School class has truly been a God-send.

And so, last week they came, men and women, and even some children. They even brought their own equipment. They washed, organized, gutted, rearranged, sweated, and still came back to finish everything. They mulched, trimmed, pressure washed. They even cleaned out our fridge! They worked hard. And at the end of the day they were still asking what more they could do to help us. It moves me to tears when I think about it. It is one of the few times that I have seen the Body of Christ shine forth with the full radiance of the Holy Spirit. I don’t even have words to describe how much they did for us, and how much they are still willing to do.

Let this thought be with you this week as you get ready to start classes: God loves you in mighty, mighty ways. God brought a whole group of people, who have never even met you, to pour out His awesome and powerful love for you. Part of our mission statement is “to put a human face on God’s love.” God did that for each one of us in a very tangible way. So go into this semester fearless, knowing that God is working mightily on your behalf. Go into this semester expectant, knowing that God is ready to use us in mighty ways just as He brought His servants to work on our behalf in mighty ways. Go into this semester with hope and faith, knowing that God’s provision is bigger than your biggest need.

I am so humbled by our Lord’s generosity. I am so overcome with gratitude for these very ordinary, everyday people who have served so completely and given extravagantly from their hearts. I pray that the Lord will continue to do mighty things through them, will bless them in ways they cannot even imagine, and that the seeds of their obedience will yield a mighty harvest for God’s Kingdom through us and others they are touching in Christ’s name.

Know that each of you are precious in the Lord’s sight. Jesus loves you so much. I know because sometimes I think He will burst my heart with the fullness of all the love He wants to show you. Have a great week!