The first month back on campus is always a busy season. We tabled, jumped in a bouncy house, went to a BBQ, and attended a movie night!
At 5AM you’re awoken by strong knocks on the church door. Tito arrives and starts moving tables while you slowly wake up, and within an hour your cots are gone and the church basement is transformed into a banquet where the rich and poor break bread: a breakfast with our homeless neighbors. Such was the explosive beginning to our pilot project, ServeUP Brockton!
At Northeastern, we have been listening to God and trying our best to follow in obedience, relentlessly talking about Jesus' heart for racial reconciliation, addressing sexual assault and speaking of God's love and invitation for both victims and perpetrators, reaching out to the Islamic community in light of all the anti-Muslim sentiment on campus with a simple invitation to Thanksgiving dinner.
We are grateful for the 150 students and staff from Western New England who attended the Fall Retreat last weekend! InterVarsity New England's Regional Director, Chris Nichols, gave powerful talks summarizing what Christianity is about and what it means to really acknowledge Jesus as Lord and not simply our companion; to take up our cross and deny ourselves to follow Him.
100 STUDENTS. We reached triple digits in student involvement this fall! We had 100 students from Salem State U, U of Massachusetts--Lowell, Montserrat College of Art, Endicott College, Gordon College and Middlesex Community College actively involved. Not only are we excited to have the most student involvement in our history, we are excited that this number represents witnessing communities with a growing presence on campus and a passion to proclaim the Gospel to every corner of every campus.
10 STUDENT LEADERS. In January, 10 student leaders joined us in Tampa for Ambition, InterVarsity’s Planting Conference (pictured above). It was an action-packed 4 days! Imagine being in a room with 750 of the most passionate, mission-minded, risk-taking student leaders and InterVarsity staff from around the country. Students came back inspired and empowered to see their campus as a place of mission where they have been sent by God.
4 NEW BIBLE STUDIES, 2 LED BY FRESHMAN AT SALEM STATE. A new semester means new things are starting on campus. 4 new Bible studies are being launched at Salem State this semester, 2are led by freshman students. 1 is reaching out to commuter students like herself and 1 is reaching out to her freshman dorm. Shellie* and I tried starting the Bible study in her dorm last semester but had a bit of a stall out. She was discouraged and struggled when no one showed up for two weeks in a row before Christmas break. But she didn’t give up and God gave her a huge nudge after she had “an intense spiritual conversation with [one of the girls who came last semester], shared the Gospel with her and prayed with her” and had another friend tell her she wanted to come to the Bible study this semester.
*not actual name
By, Becky Lahna, Area Director | North Shore
The aspect of my job that I love the most is helping students with little or no religious background to explore who Jesus is.
InterVarsity New England hosted their first ever LaFe (Latino Student Ministry) training at the end of September, La Luz! Brown University hosted us for a Friday night catalytic worship event and a Saturday training. 2 Smith students made recommitments to follow Jesus at the Friday night event! 35 students and staff from across New England came Saturday to receive training from LaFe’s National Director, Orlando Crespo. The Smithies are already saying they want to host the next one!
By, Elizabeth Booher, Campus Staff | Smith College