One day in August, I eagerly answered a phone call from the youth minister for Gateway Community Church in Wylie – I had been looking forward to this call for quite a few iterations of phone- and text-tag. Filled with hopeful excitement, we discussed ideas and plans for a partnered outreach event at UTD (the University of Texas at Dallas), and we set the date at last: October 21st.
Over the ensuing weeks, we communicated more details and I reached out to campus ministries and individual students whose ministers had given their support to the event, recruiting people to join us in bringing the good news to UTD students.
As I sat on a stone bench at the entrance to UTD, waiting for our local church guests to arrive, I could feel the spiritual atmosphere around me charged with energy. It felt like a misty cloud were surrounding me and tingling my skin all over, though the actual air was not peculiar in any way. God was present, and He was about to do something great, I knew.
At last, our attendees had arrived. We had over 30 people, including students from 5 campus ministries and 6 young men from middle and high school (the youth group), that paired into twos and went out across the campus to ask students what they believed and why they believed it, plus share the good news of Jesus with them. Each group talked to multiple people, resulting in over 100 seeds being planted and watered! At least one person, a Chinese graduate student, accepted Christ and was instantly filled with the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. Praise God!
Afterward, most of us convened at the “fog log” (a misting pillar near a gathering place in the center of campus) to share stories with, encourage, and praise God in song with one another before dispersing. While less people came out that I had anticipated, I could feel that the spiritual climate on campus had changed as a result of what happened last Tuesday, and God’s presence has definitely been much thicker and closer ever since.
The woman who accepted Christ is being directed and guided by the folks who led her to Christ like the newborn she is, and many of those who came out seem to have made commitments to return to do contact evangelism regularly, rather than just as a one-time thing.
As it is written, “How beautiful … are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ” (Isaiah 52:7)
Charlie is a new addition to the Campus Renewal team, coordinating ministry work at The University of Texas at Dallas, where he graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering last May. He is newly married to his high school sweetheart and enjoys reading and practicing speaking German in his spare time.