“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us” ~ 1 John 5:14
Less than one week is left of our ministry adventure in Sheffield this summer, as we leave for North Carolina next Wednesday. All of us have felt a great urgency, as Peter and Chris mentioned, to proclaim the gospel message absolutely clearly to those we’ve met and befriended. I believe many of us have felt that relational development has been a longer process than we might have expected. However, we have come to call many students dear friends and have sought to open the word with those we’ve shared the gospel with this last week of campus ministry. Meg had the opportunity to meet with one international student for four hours yesterday with whom she explained the story of the Bible and looked at several passages. It was encouraging for all of us to hear how the Lord is using that experience to prick at her heart, as today and tomorrow present opportunities for the rest of us to open God’s Word with different students we have met. Please pray for Chris, Ben, Maura and I specifically as we will be engaging students over Bible passages Thursday and Friday. Pray that the Spirit of God will be stirring their hearts and opening their ears to hear, as nothing we will say or show them will lead them to the truth without Him working.
As we thank God for the interactions with many of the international students we’ve met during this week, Steve had a great reminder for us during Monday’s team meeting. He pointed out how it is easy to go into hyper-drive, ultra-planning mode with such a short amount of time left and to not be fully dependent in prayer and trusting God to work. We all felt that to some degree this week. Another learning point we encountered this week was emphasized during Team Ministry Training yesterday during which we looked into comparison. Not only is it difficult to remember to be dependent in prayer, but also to be dependent on our teammates for advice, examples, and encouragement by God’s work through each other. I believe I can speak for the rest of the team when I say that we each have seen many ways that we’ve compared ourselves to each other in ministry, performance, looks, personality, etc. We looked into the seriousness of how this affects our own lives, the team, and our relationship with God. It twists the good gifts God has given us, and has robbed us of contentment, joy, intimacy with God, and faith. Seeking to battle this deceptive sin, we strive to look and point each other to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:1-2). It is He who seeks our joy in His glory being revealed through our circumstances and ministry (1 Peter 4:13).
Thank you for your support, encouragement, and prayers throughout our time here. Please continue to lift up these last few days to God as we seek to glorify Him in opening his word with students, proclaiming our joy in Jesus’ work, connecting students with the church, and seeking to love one another while fighting comparison.
With love from Sheffield, Kate Hoyles
The 2014 Tour de France