This semester, one of my favorite times of the week is having a group of girls in my home on Monday evenings for Journey Group – UA BCM’s version of small group Bible study – studying through the books of 1, 2 and 3 John.
In his letters, John helps the church distinguish what is love and truth in a culture where the Gospel has been distorted. He is encouraging those who are still in the fellowship to continue walking as light in darkness with the assurance of the Gospel and knowledge of Christ.
Spend a small amount of time on a college campus, and you could quite possibly see or hear just about anything. College is the first time most students get any taste of freedom — freedom of thought, freedom of exploration, freedom of expression. These freedoms can manifest themselves in many ways, both good and bad.
Most college students, though, are just trying to find purpose while being pulled in a hundred different directions.
I can certainly relate to John’s passion and pleas for those he serves and considers his children in the faith. 3 John 4 says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” God is at work on our college campuses in Alabama. Students, faculty and staff are being reached, being discipled and are walking in the Truth in a setting where there is much darkness.
Below is just a snapshot of what is happening through students involved with Baptist Campus Ministries at the University of Alabama and Shelton State Community College.
R: Through a local prison ministry, I am being used by God to help bring the love of Jesus to inmates in a radical way. It is a ministry that has allowed me to see men be broken down to their rawest form and be reconciled to Jesus and built up into the men of God they were always created to be and sent out into the institution to repeat the process to others.
E: My time together with my international friend has been so precious, with most of our Friday nights consisting of conversations around coffee while sitting on her living room floor. I remember her eyes lighting up with surprise and amazement when I played various chapters of the Bible in Arabic through an app on my phone. It’s been so sweet to see how the Lord has used our friendship to allow me to share the story of Jesus with her.
L: At the BCM, I don’t have to prove myself to be accepted. I’ve spent so much wasted effort in the past trying to do that. I went from daily believing the lies from the pit and feeling hopeless to this: living in Christ, turning to the Truth, finding a family at the BCM and being able to come out of my shell.
K: The BCM has given me the opportunity to facilitate a Bible study and live life with freshmen girls at the University of Alabama. This role has been one of the greatest learning experiences and blessings I have ever received. Freshmen I have met pushed me to dig into God’s word and grow in Christ; I hope I did the same for them. This ministry really is an excellent example of “iron sharpens iron” relationships.
K: I have been sharing my faith with a classmate since last semester. This week, I received a text message that she has made some positive life decisions in order for her to take steps closer to God. I am praying for her and continually trying to learn more of her story and how Jesus wants to use me in her life.
We are on mission, not only individually but also collectively as a ministry reaching out to small pockets of people on campus. The Freshmen Leadership Team recently completed a month of focused outreach efforts to campus that included the students, faculty and staff of one of our academic buildings, UA Police Department and the Crimson Ride bus drivers.
Here is a note that we received upon completion of one of those projects from the director of transit:
Dear BCM Freshmen Leadership Team,
Thank you for the thoughtful treat bags for the bus drivers and 348-Ride drivers here on campus. Your thoughtfulness made a positive impact on the drivers. Your acts of kindness boost the spirit of others. Your kindness and faithfulness will not go unnoticed.
Please pray for the work that is happening on our college and university campuses in Alabama. These same kinds of stories can be found across the state as God is using BCM to impact the next generation.