Meet Janet. This bubbly Malaysian student living in Ireland smiles brightly as she describes the shy but curious culture within which she’s chosen to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Despite spending most of her university career in a pandemic, she has managed to make friends.
“You have to make the first move to meet people,” she says.
Janet has made the first move in other ways too. Along with a few other international students, she has started a Christian student group in her very secular technological university. Numbers have grown over their year-long existence, with 20-30 people attending meetings online. Janet says the support they have received from CUI Ireland has made a huge difference.
“When CUI Ireland found out about our group, they contacted us. Because of the pandemic they have given us lots of materials to work through like Uncover John and Uncover Mark.”
Janet said that a leader from CUI also recommended that she take the Engaging the University (ETU) e-course. At the time, Janet felt that the group was becoming stale. She hoped that the course would provide innovative ministry ideas.
“I found so much more in there than I expected,” she says.
Janet says that the course helped her understand the holistic role of faith in her university experience instead of compartmentalizing her student group and university life.
“We can’t waste our university years just trying to organize our Christian student groups. University is such a good time for evangelism because we are all trying to find ourselves. And people need Christ in the university more than anywhere else. We can’t make it into two things –the Christian student group and then all the non-Christian stuff. The Christian student group has to be a part of the society as well.”
The course did in fact help Janet approach her group with new ideas. Inspired by another participant in the ETU course, she organized a discussion night over a popular TV series, incorporating the theme of unconditional love. Janet said this event was one of their most attended. The group is also organizing an evangelistic event using a series of questions given to Janet through the ETU course. The questions are intended to get participants talking about important issues which can lead into spiritual discussions.
Though the pandemic continues to offer obstacles to creating new events, Janet is hopeful that what she has learned through the ETU course will be useful to their continued growth.
“There is so much more that we can do.”
This week join us in prayer for Janet’s group in Ireland.
- Pray that Janet will be able to pass along what she has learned from the ETU course to increase the group’s impact on the university.
- Pray that their evangelistic efforts would be fruitful as they continue to create new ways to reach more students.
- Pray for more students like Janet to understand the power of engaging their faith in the university. Pray that students would have the boldness, curiosity, and creativity to find new ways to integrate faith into their courses, conversations, and relationships on campus.