Through this past semester, it has been so encouragingly evident that God has been at work in the hearts of many international students – from those keen to keep hearing God’s Word who do not yet profess Jesus Christ as Lord, to those eager to be trained to go out and proclaim the gospel in their various contexts. There are so many stories I could share! But I really want you to know how God has subtly been at work in one particular student.
Hayley* came from Singapore earlier this year to start her first year of university. She first heard about the EU from someone she met in her student accommodation, then saw a Public Meeting one day and went along. A girl she met there told her about FOCUS and she signed up to join a Discovery Bible Study (DBS) group. While Hayley had grown up in church, she admitted that she didn’t read her bible or pray regularly. She seemed less than enthusiastic in our first couple of studies! But God had already begun His work in her heart.
Hayley’s family back in Singapore kept encouraging her to attend church and be involved with the Christian community. While she didn’t necessarily seem too keen on the idea, she came faithfully week after week.
As part of a DBS, we spend time each week making plans to act on what we have heard from the passage – one practical plan for personal change and one to share, either the passage or what we’ve learned, with someone else. At the beginning of the next study, we discuss how we have gone in implementing these plans during the week and how we can support each other in following through with our plans.
Each week, Hayley seemed to get more excited and bolder as she made plans to engage more with God outside of our DBS group and share God’s love with the new friends she was making, who were struggling in Sydney.
She started coming along to our weekly Come Home Dinner with a gang from her student accommodation, including a bunch of non-Christians! The Spirit was clearly changing her heart.
Hayley started coming along to our weekly Come Home Dinner with a gang from her student accommodation, including a bunch of non-Christians! Even when the semester started to get hectic, she still prioritised coming to DBS and Come Home Dinner when many others did not. The Spirit was clearly changing her heart.
When we caught up one-to-one later in the semester, Hayley told me how she had wandered away from church in high school and felt shamed when she tried to return. But God never leaves a lost sheep behind. By getting involved with euFOCUS, she has found a new family in Christ and is eager to invite many others to join this family.
Most recently, she and a couple of other students have started their own bible study in their student accommodation. Please pray that this group will be bold in inviting others to join to discover what God says in His Word, and that the Spirit may be at work in their hearts to one day profess Jesus Christ is Lord.
*Name has been changed
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