From a friend to a sister in Christ
‘Why don’t you drink?’ ‘Why wouldn’t you have sex before marriage?’ ‘What does it mean to be a Christian?’ ‘I’m a good person so I’ll go to Heaven, right?’
I was staying over at a friend from my course’s house. She knew I was a Christian, and like every other time I’d stayed over, we ended up having a ‘deep God talk’ just before we went to bed. My friend Nerys had little experience of church or religion, apart from studying RE at A level and going to church with her Nan on a rare occasion. I would always try my best at answering her questions, but it didn’t really go anywhere!
In February, the Christian Union held their events week called Satisfied. I invited her and another friend to the lunch time talks, and they both came once or twice.
After hearing one of the talks, one of the student workers from my church started talking to Nerys. She challenged her to investigate Christianity. After all, how can you decide whether you want to believe in God without concrete evidence to help you make your mind up?
Nerys’ boyfriend Olly was a Christian but hadn’t found a church in Worcester or joined the CU yet. When she went to visit him around Easter time, he took her to his home church – and she really enjoyed it. I was so overjoyed to hear that she had had a positive church experience.
After Easter, I began inviting Nerys, her boyfriend Olly and our other friend to my church at university. Nerys would come with me whenever she could on a Sunday evening and said that she really enjoyed our student session after the service.
I was so encouraged by this whole experience – and it just kept on getting better.
For her birthday I thought I would go all out and buy her a Bible. I hoped that her interest in Christianity would continue and that having a Bible would allow her to explore it more. She seemed really happy with the gift – and I was relieved that it wasn’t an awkward thing to give her!
Later on in the term, Nerys, Olly and his family went to a Christian event called Big Church Day Out. Nerys didn’t just go to the one weekend but both! I met up with her and Olly’s mum, who became a Christian at university through the witness of her friend. She was always encouraging Nerys to explore more about Christianity, saying that Nerys could have the same story as she had.
When we came back to university for second year, Nerys and Olly came to church with me pretty much every Sunday evening. It was just amazing how this became the norm! We talked about all her questions and one afternoon, when it was just the two of us, she said: ‘I’ve accepted it, I just don’t know how to do it’. She understood everything that she’d been learning and how much she needed Jesus.
I explained how simple it is for her to accept Jesus into her life, how she didn’t need to be perfect and understand everything about the Bible in order to be saved – she just needed to make the decision to put her trust in Jesus, and take things one step at a time.
After this conversation I was eagerly awaiting a message from her to say that she had made the decision. I encouraged Nerys and Olly to try out other churches that might suit them better and that they didn’t need to come to my church if they didn’t want to. The next week they tried a more local church in the city centre and loved it. They got involved in helping with the church almost immediately and they felt more at home there which was amazing news to hear. Two or three weeks later, Nerys made the decision to trust in Jesus for herself.
I was so excited to know that Nerys was not only one of my best friends but now a sister in Christ.
Straight away, she was determined to put her all into this new journey and do all that she could to grow in her new relationship with Christ. Since then, she has invited three friends to church and is both a committed and regular attendee of the CU.
God does work in the lives of students at university, if people are willing to invest in them.
If you have your heart set on sharing the gospel with a friend, then I encourage you to invest your all in them. Be expectant that God will work in their life, and that He will give you the wisdom and opportunities to share Jesus with them.
This story comes from Sophie, a student at Worcester University.
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