For the first time, I sat at lunch with two Buddhist freshmen and envisioned what their lives would be like with Christ.
A few days before, we heard a report about what God has been doing through Campus Outreach Memphis. The team leader showed the number of students who had come to Christ over the past two years, but before he did, he said, “Don’t think about these as just numbers, or even as people. Think about each number as a redirected life. Think about each individual’s marriage, children, and workplace – I want you to see how the trajectory of their life is radically different.” Something clicked in my brain, and I began to dream.
That morning, we heard from an American woman who has been in this country for twenty years. She showed a picture of herself with six generations of local believers – she led the first to Christ and discipled her, who led the second to Christ and discipled her, and so on four times over. I looked at these six women and pictured how the gospel is continuing to redirect their lives, and I dreamed a little more.
After her talk, one of the local women on staff with Campus Outreach in this country shared her testimony. She has been on staff for five years, leading many girls to Christ and training them up to joyfully share the gospel through hearts satisfied in God. And she said with tears in her eyes, “I was once one of those girls. I thought I was ok…I tried so hard to do the right things, but I had no answers for all of my questions. If someone had not shared Jesus with me, I would not be standing here today.” I pictured this woman as a freshman in college, trying so hard to pay for all her sin according to Buddhist beliefs but never knowing how much good was enough. I imagined the load lifted off, the prisoner set free, when she believed that Jesus did what she could never do on her own.
So there I was, sitting at lunch with two Buddhist freshmen, hearing about their families, their favorite sports, their opinions on the (very important) Jacob vs. Edward controversy. But all I could think about was the potential of one life, just one person wholly in love with Jesus. I imagined the good news going forward to all of their friends, just as I hear in testimony after testimony from the local Christians. I envisioned them raising their children to know Christ – I dreamed of generations of believers through these girls’ witness.
And suddenly, I wanted to stay on campus all day meeting girls, following where God leads, and praying for changed lives.
This week, please pray for all of us - that our vision for the future would change our today. I pray to see these locals with the eyes of Jesus – to see them as they are now and to be broken over their current condition, but also to see how Christ can transform them through the gospel.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20
“If your dreams don’t scare you, both your dreams and your God are too small.” – Brother Andrew
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” – Isaiah 9:2