Maine

Bonfires, BBQs & Bible Studies

It always feel as though the beginning of a new school year hits like a rushing locomotive. In the meantime, my students and I are simply hoping to lay down tracks quickly enough to prevent the train from derailing! With God's grace, this particular year has started quite smoothly. The train is still on the rails!

After welcoming both new and returning students to my home for a good ol' fashioned bonfire (pictured here), we hit the campuses around Portland! Over the course of 5 days, I had the pleasure of tabling at 3 campus events: SMCC's Welcome Back BBQ, UNE's Activity Fair, and MECA's (Maine College of Art) Activity Fair. It was exhausting, surprising, and rewarding to meet new students and reconvene with returners.

The rhythm of campus ministry goes something like this: show up on campus alone, pray to meet some students who will listen to you, pull any of those students together and hope they get along, help this team of sudden leaders reach out to new more new students, feel less alone while on campus, rinse and repeat until you have a witnessing fellowship on your hands.

There are many new things to thank God for, including (but not limited to): SMCC Students who want to start a new Bible Study in Spring Point Residence Hall, UNE getting closer to officially recognizing InterVarsity's campus presence, and 5 new MECA students who are interested in studying the Bible together.

By, Joel Wentz, Campus Staff | Portland, ME

www.joelwentz.com

A Story of Exploration

University of Maine Campus

One young woman we met with comes from a country were Christianity is not well known. Her presence in our Bible studies and community has been a source of great joy. We've been blessed to be able to explain the good news of Jesus to her and on one occasion to pray for her for healing. Watching her explore the Christian faith with a fresh perspective and honest questions has been a blessing for the whole community.

Earlier this semester we were studying the passage where Jesus gives the two great commandments and tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Bringing the perspective of an international student and someone who hadn't read Luke 10, she asks, "So, who is my neighbor?" We all smiled at her and we able to say "Jesus has an answer to that."

By, Jonathan Kenerson, Campus Staff | UMaine

International Harvest Party

In October 2013, the core team organized a diner for international student friends and had about thirty in attendance. We were able to connect more deeply with existing friends and were able to make a number of new friends. We also hosted a Harvest party at Treworgy Family Orchards last weekend and had Muslims, Christians, and seekers from Pakistan, Iran, China, Japan, Egypt, India, and yes, even America. We had a great time eating, running around in the corn maze, and contra-dancing together.

Also Todd, a member of our core team, has just started a Bible study for these international students, most of whom are in graduate school. The second meeting is tonight so be praying that the group grows and that all involved grow in faith as a result.

By Jonathan Kennerson, Campus Staff | UMaine

Student Highlight - Levy

Levy

Levy (pronounced Lev - ee) became part of InterVarsity during the spring semester of last year. He is one example of the many, many individuals who have ended up in Portland after leaving their home countries.

Originally from Burundi, Levy did not speak a word of English when he moved to Maine several years ago (aside from his French-African accent, you would have no idea - sometimes I think his English is better than mine!). Levy is studying Marine Science while at SMCC, as well as working nearly full-time to support himself. He is a very prayerful individual, and has recently been helping me implement monthly prayer gatherings on-campus.

Levy is an extremely warm, kind-hearted person. He reaches out to non-Christians in his life with a quiet passion, and he is well-liked by those around him. It has been an immense blessing to work with him, as his international perspective has been a wonderful gift to our fellowship. Please pray for Levy's schedule - he is a busy individual! Also pray that God could continue to use him to reach out to the growing international population at SMCC.

By, Joel Wentz, Campus Staff | Southern Maine Community College

Hot Chocolate Outreach in Maine

Hot Cocoa in ME

The picture above was taken during the last week of the academic semester. I asked some students to help me hand out hot chocolate in the Campus Center, to simply bless those who were suffering through a cold Maine day, and to open up conversations about InterVarsity as individuals were interested.

What excites me most about this snapshot is that all but two of the students pictured are brand-new to the fellowship! God continues to bring new people into our community, and every one of the students is a joy to work with. Please continue to pray for growth and expansion into new parts of the campus as 2014 begins.

By, Joel Wentz, Campus Staff | Portland, Maine