Joanna Watts

Reflections on Festival 2018 Semester One

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On Eastern Avenue, protestors rally with their hand-painted signs, crying “Free Palestine!”, campaigning for an end to conflict in the Middle East. In Fisher Library, the desks are full all day as exams loom closer. Two friends on the lawns discuss their travel plans over the winter break and where they will meet up in Europe. Ever since their last trip they have been chasing the next high.

Sydney University is a campus that is longing for peace, for satisfaction, and for success. Without Jesus, there is no hope of finding any that lasts. This is the message the EU has been bringing to the campus for the last two weeks during ‘Festival’. Students have organised more than 20 conversations around picnics, sport, games, or walks and asked people ‘Are you longing for social justice?’ ‘Are you longing for peace?’ ‘Are you longing for a pain free world?’

Vivian organised a coastal walk and invited people to start a conversation about Jesus. One person found the event on Facebook and came along. At the start of the walk he asked about why Jesus needed to die – and they all kept talking about Jesus and faith for the next 2 hours of the walk.

Another student organised a clothes swap. Anna said, “Mary gave a talk and shared a powerful illustration of when you buy something new it feels great at first, but soon becomes tainted and old. Similarly, God made us but we are now tainted by sin. No amount of bleaching can clean us, only Jesus can make us clean and new again. “

One small group bible study used their regular meeting time to share their testimonies. Jessie said “A new girl came along and was really engaged, asking lots of questions as people shared their stories.” Jessie is going to keep meeting with her to help her get to know Jesus through the Bible.

There are many more stories like these of people longing for more than they can find in this world. Please pray that as God’s word is spoken and students follow up their friends, God would bring many of these people to know him.

 

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