Thank you for opening this prayer letter – I hope that it will be helpful and will encourage you with what is going on in Surrey! Last month I mentioned that we were planning for our joint mission week with Chosen Christian Fellowship. Now those plans are starting to be put into action, as I write to you from the second day of our mission week. See the next page for more information on our mission week, called ‘Love is…’. February has been a month full of mission weeks happening on campuses across the country. Reading Christian Union th th had their mission week from 4 -8 of February. I visited Reading on th the 6 and helped give out flyers for their lunchtime talk on God and sexism, which was very well attended – to the point where visitors were standing or sitting on the floor in order to fit into the room!
UCCF: The Christian Unions Blue Boar House, 5 Blue Boar Street, Oxford, OX1 4EE T 01865 253678 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.uccf.org.uk
registered charity no. 306137
Andy Robinson is our mission week speaker
On 11 -13 of February, Bournemouth Christian Union had a mission, which I visited on the th 12 . I was given the chance to get stuck in and help with the lunchtime talk, then help set up a café for an evening event where I played my cello with Olly Knight. The café had a very relaxed atmosphere, and Olly gave a short talk, after which one of the guys (who had only come to the café ‘by chance’!) recommitted his life to Jesus! nd th On the 22 -24 of February we had the new leader’s training weekend, known as Forum South East, in Guildford. This was a weekend designed for those students who are intending to be involved in some sort of student leadership, be it on the committee of their CU or leading a bible study or prayer cell. The main speaker was Mike Reeves, who delivered powerful gospel messages from the book of Leviticus!
Relay Prayer Letter
Christian Union & Chosen
For a few years now there have been two large Englishspeaking Christian societies on campus at Surrey, The Christian Union and Chosen Christian Fellowship. Whilst members of both societies have been very friendly with each other for along time, there has been a bit of a cultural divide, and our societies’ visions have not been the same. In the past we have often unified at Christmas and Easter, often also with the Chinese Christian Fellowship (who are a Chinese-speaking group), for a joint service on campus. This normally meant hosting the event together, with members of each society taking part in different ways. However this year CU and Chosen have known a deeper level of unity than I ever saw during my 4 years as a student. This year we were both planning to do a full week of concentrated mission, both on the same topic of God’s love and both at the same time, and so our societies decided to unify for the duration of the mission week, and all of the planning beforehand.
University of Surrey Christian Union 7 Saffron Platt Guildford Surrey GU2 9XX email@example.com 07748905270
This saw CU and Chosen meeting twice a week, on Monday and Friday evenings for at least a month, followed by a joint main th meeting on 25 of February, and a joint Prayer & Praise meeting, nd focused on mission, on 2 of March. These meetings, have been a real blessing for the sake of the mission week, and have also promoted a real sense of unity and fellowship between Chosen and CU. th Last week, on the 27 and th 28 of February, we ran an event together called ‘Dial-aDishwasher’, where students living on campus were encouraged to text us in order for us to go to their halls of residence and do their washing up. The fear with this event was that people would let us in and then go back to their rooms, without talking to us, but actually the vast majority of people stayed to talk, and some ended up even feeding their guests after hours of talking (we did the washing up afterwards, of course!).
We have just started our week of events with Chosen, called ‘Love is…’. The purpose of the week is to show God’s powerful, inclusive and saving love to students on campus, praying that they will accept his love personally! On Monday we started the mission with an event in the afternoon called ‘Coffee & Chat’, where we set up a café outside in the sun, giving people free cake and making them a hot drink for free. We used mugs instead of paper cups because we wanted people to sit down in our makeshift café and talk to a Christian! We were blessed with excellent weather and, whilst some people did take cake and run, the vast majority of people stayed for at least 5 minutes to talk – some stayed for well over an hour just asking questions about the bible and talking about it with a Christian! On Tuesday we had a lunchtime talk on the topic of ‘If God is love, how can he limit my sexuality?’. The talk was delivered very well and sensitively by our mission speaker, Andy Robinson (UCCF, Christian Persuaders), with a full lecture theatre and a lot of genuine questions at the end. Later that day we had a barn dance with an international theme and a talk. This week we have 2 more lunchtime talks on the topics of God & science, and suffering. Yesterday we had a sports tournament in the afternoon with a testimony from Pete Browne, who plays rugby for the Harlequins, and a very wellattended quiz & curry. In the evenings we will have a question panel called ‘grill-a-Christian’, and on Friday an evening based around a clear gospel message and a chance to respond.
Prayer & Support
- Pray for the committees of the Christian Union and Chosen as they continue to work together. Pray that they would see how a unified Christian presence can be an effective witness on campus - Pray for the remainder of the mission week, with two more lunchbars, grill-a-Christian on Thursday evening and ‘Is love for me?’ event Friday evening. - Pray for continued strength for me, and perseverance in my study program whilst there is so much going on. - Pray for the CU committee, as they seek to elect the next committee in the following month. - Pray for the next committee, that they would be blessed with wisdom and unity within themselves, and would be godly leaders for the Christian Union.
- 4-8 March. Surrey mission week. th th - 19 -20 March. Team days for my relay and staff team. nd th - 22 -24 March. Saved2serve conference. Let darkness turn to radiant light, confusion vanish from your path; those who are weak inspire with might: let mercy triumph over wrath! James Montgomery
Already this week we have had a lot of response to people’s personal testimony and challenges to consider Jesus for who he really claims to be. We hope that God will save people this week, but if he does not choose to then that this would be the first week in the process of people coming to know him. In order to help with that we have been asking people to fill in response slips with comments, contact details and the ability to indicate that they want to find out more. We intend to get in touch with people who respond saying
that they want to know more and invite them to take part in one of a couple of follow-up activities. We plan to run a Student Alpha course, as well as using UCCF’s Uncover resource to lead a weekly open group bible study on the gospel of Luke. Something else that is prominent at the Christian Union is the future of our working with Chosen. This week has been a great success in terms of unity, and we look forwards to the possibility of greater unity between our societies. Pray for great wisdom for all those involved in this!
Quiz & curry event – we had many more than expected!