“Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the people.” Psalm 96:2-3
This is our desire and hope for the students that come through Brook Hills College Ministry. We desire for all people to sing praise to the Lord and tell others about His great salvation!
Our vision statement can be summed up in one sentence, “Reaching the world one student at a time.” This has been the vision and heartbeat of Brook Hills College Ministry for the last several years. We desire for God’s glory to fill the earth, like He ordained from the very beginning of time. “And God bessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth….'” We desire for there to be a gospel witness on each campus, sports team, in every dorm room, club, classroom, sorority, fraternity, etc. We long for college students to love Jesus, grow in Jesus, and make disciples of Jesus.
Let me tell you a story of how God is accomplishing this vision through the college students at Brook Hills. It all started when my small group was going through the five threads of the gospel together. The threads consist of the Character of God, Sinfulness of Man, Sufficiency of Christ, Necessity of Faith, and Urgency of Eternity. We were going through this series to deepen our understanding of the gospel in hopes that unbelievers would come to know Him as Lord and Savior and that believers would be renewed and refreshed by the power of the gospel.
Each week in our small group, we would take a thread and dive deeper in the word and ask hard questions like “Why would a good God send people to hell?" "Why do Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and ascension matter?" "Can I explain “churchy” words like salvation, grace, mercy, justification, sanctification, glorification, wrath, judgement, etc.?" As our small group was diving deeper and deeper into these threads, my heart began to be gripped with the reality that so many people don’t know and understand who Jesus is. I asked God to give me a brokenness for the lost and eyes to see where he was at work.
Around that time, I happened to meet a student wanting to get baptized. As I sat there with Margie and heard her story, I began to sense that she didn’t fully understand one of the elements of the gospel, the sinfulness of man. As we talked, we found ourselves reading Romans 1:18-32. This section walks through how all humanity has the truth of God, but has suppressed the truth and exchanged it for a lie. There is a list at the end of this passage that explains what sin looks like: disobedient to parents, gossips, envious etc. I asked Margie if she believed that one of these sins separated us from a holy God. I could tell something was going on in her heart, but didn’t know exactly what. I knew I had to explain that if she didn’t acknowledge her sin and repent from it, she would never be able to acknowledge she was in need of a Savoir. We parted ways, and I felt this heaviness in my spirit, so I began praying that God would save her and open her eyes to her need for Jesus.
Long story short, He did! She came back from summer break, and I remember seeing her across the food court and I could tell she was a “new creation.” She radiated joy and newness of life. It was like a load had been lifted off her. We talked for hours that day, and she explained to me that when we had last seen each other, she wrestled over whether or not she believed she was a sinner in need of a Savior. That day in her car, she begged God to make her new and save her. She acknowledged her sin and knew that Jesus was the only way back to the Father. She repented and believed!
Now go with me on a journey across the world where, just around the time Margie became a believer, there was a little girl stuck in a religion she started to doubt. This little girl began having dreams where she was in a dark room and a man in white was reaching out his hand to her through a bright slit in the room. She wanted to take his hand but didn’t know how. She would have these dreams, maybe three times a year, whenever she felt something was just not satisfying about her religion.
This little girl had these dreams for seven years. During those seven years, the Lord was drawing Margie to have a love and heart for the people in this far away land that the little girl lived in. Eventually, Margie and her family moved overseas, unable to resist the call of God to go share the gospel with these people in this far away land. After a few God-ordained meetings that can only be explained by the sovereignty of God, this same girl said to Margie, “You have something I need, you have a joy and a freedom that I want.” It was the same joy and freedom that I saw that day in the food court at Samford. It was a life transformed by the power of the gospel. Margie shared with the girl about the joy she had and explained who the man in white was and how He has come to earth to reach out to her and all she had to do was turn to Him. After a couple of meetings hearing the gospel, that little girl submitted her life to Jesus!
Let me bring this all together for you. Our heartbeat as a ministry is that the nations know the love of Jesus and be saved by his grace. I had no idea that as I was sitting with Margie in a college food court that He would save her by his grace, that He would grip both of our hearts with deep compassion for the lost, while all along drawing a little girl in a far away land to Himself through visions and dreams that Margie would be able to explain to her.
We are asking God to save many college students this year and to give us a desire to “tell of his salvation day to day.” Will you join us in this prayer and mission? Will you join us this year in our desire to reach the world one student at a time? To God be all the glory!
Stephanie Fain serves on the Brook Hills staff as the Associate College Minister. She lives in Hoover with her husband Wes and her two children, Jack and Charlie.