Saturday, March 17, 2007

it's always sunny in the east

I headed off to Canterbury just under a week ago not really knowing what i'd find. With my south central centric life thus far i think i was feared that all the building's there would be portacabins and the library a caravan. I was wrong. Caterbury is a majestic campus in early spring, and flyering in the sunshine wearing a t-shirt sure does beat doing it in the snow sharing a glove with Phil Rout.

They were heady days.

But what to say about the week. I think my expectations of mission weeks haved chanaged this year. While i was at uni, certainly in the first two years i thought that mission weeks were very much about the there and then, that people would be saved that week. But now i see them far more as a catalyst to further the personal and corporate evangelism of the CU itself, and to big up courses like Christianity Explored and Bytesize. It's different being an AM as well, knowing from the start of the week that you won't spend the rest of term meeting up with the Arrans' of that particular mission does change your perspective a little bit. I think it makes you keener to get on with it and get stuck in while you can, because time is short.

I like university missions for a number of reasons. Campuses in general are a clash of openess and closedness. People being open to think and learn new things about the world for possibly the last time, and people all at the same time who want nothing to do with 'religion' and staff who are slightly put out that we're giving away free food so close to a lunch hall. I also like them for the selfish reason that they help me not to waste my life. To not waste your life is to demonstrate and live with Christ as the most valuable, most excellent and lovely being in the universe. And mission weeks make it easy, on the face of it, to do that. Even if for all my flyering and questionairing i only directly shared the Gospel twice in the week, both with Muslim guys, both who said things like 'we love Jesus...we love Buddha, they are important people in our religion'. Makes you just want to grab them and shake the truth into them. Thankfully, thats not our job. Do pray for Sahir and Madi, i gave them both a copy of John's Gospel.

Strange coming home, not to be tramping campus with a flyer in my hand and a song in my heart. Not to be veered round by everyone who saw my UKCCU t-shirt before i saw them. Nice i guess, but strange. Strange to think of the places that for a week were the centre of my universe (Eliot, Rutherford, The Venue) that i'll probably never go to again, of all the people i met and prayed for and are now just names on a list.

A strange life sometimes this, but a tremendous one. Life to the full indeed.

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