Relay Blog: Refreshing
In many ways, the first week of university is like a series of blind dates. Groups of strangers agree to arrive in certain places at certain times, with no idea who they will meet. You arrive in a busy room, not knowing anyone and perhaps not sure if you’re in the right place. Slowly you discover that pretty much everyone else feels as awkward and out-of-place as you, and amid the awkward conversation, the music, the drinks and the cake, you become friends.
This fresher’s week I returned to the university from which I’ve just graduated- this time as Relay worker with St Andrews University Christian Union (SAUCU) to spend a year being trained and discipled in mission alongside the CU.
As an avowed introvert, the prospect of a week full of events and group activities was a little traumatising, and if it hadn’t been for God’s grace I would have probably just hidden! Instead, I was blessed with the privilege of seeing the faithful witness of scores of Christian students. Every day of the week saw multiple events – from a pub quiz, beach games and burgers, to gin and jazz – creating space and opportunities to share the good news of Jesus. At each event I was struck by the boldness of CU members, who had invited flat mates, class mates, team mates and just generic ‘mates’ to come and hear about the transformative person and work of Jesus Christ.
For my part, this week meant not only being on the lookout for new faces at events, but also encouraging CU members to seek out the folk they hadn’t already met, to include anyone on the fringes, and to take the plunge in inviting their friends. One girl who had attended outreach evenings last year returned this fresher’s week, and signed up to read Uncover Mark with her new Christian flat mate!
Fresher’s week is only the start of a year – and hopefully a lifetime – of sharing Jesus with friends. As a student, I found that we grow best when older Christians lovingly and biblically come alongside us and disciple us. The chance to invest in students was my primary reason for applying for Relay, and now that I’m here it’s still what excites me the most. So this month I’ve been getting to know the students around me, and working up the courage to pop the question. ‘Would you like to read the Bible with me?’ to a few of them!
Cameron Smith is a Relay Worker in St Andrews, where he's helping Christian students share the life-changing news of Jesus.
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