OneU, our evangelism ministry at University of Maryland-College Park, continues to be an effective means of preaching Christ and making disciples for the glory of God. There’s a ton of good, gospel work that God is doing on campus through the OneU staff (Jon Smith, Chavia Groveman, Angel Cabrera, Kelly Wilson and Paul Wilson) that I’m thanking God for regularly.
OneU has recently added a new staff member whose sole job is to be preaching Christ and continuing the mission to reach the lost and make disciples of all nations. His name is Daryl Boffman, and his goal is to begin serving on campus beginning this fall. He’s a good friend of mine, and has been a member of the church for about a year now. If you’re not currently supporting a OneU evangelist and/or would like to learn more about the ministry and how you can support it, download and read his newsletter (PDF, 590kb). He’d be happy to meet with you and talk about OneU and the work at UMD.
Soli Deo Gloria,
First of all, thank you to those who prayed on Tuesday for our Bible study with Grace & Esther. Last night Esther gave her life to the Lord (!) and we wanted to send you all a brief account. Our God is so mighty to save and continues to show His mercy through loving and saving sinners!
Kate: So sometime in the spring my friend Shang (who introduced me to Sunny) asked me to start meeting with a girl from her home church who had grown up in a Christian family, but did not know the Lord. I met Esther soon thereafter and we met up all through the spring. She even invited her friend Grace to join our Biblestudy back in April. We met through the summer and this fall started going through “How Good is Good Enough” together. Chavia was able to join us a few times and the girls really enjoyed getting to know her. The last two Bible studies (last week and this) felt particularly led by the Lord and empowered by His Spirit. Everyone, including Grace & Esther, came away excited about what we were learning, even though the conversations were very weighty and revealing. The girls acknowledged that they did not yet know the Lord, but were aware of their need for a Savior. We talked through the barriers holding them back and on Tuesday, I encouraged them to take a sheet and put it by their bed. On the sheet I asked them to write out any evidences of God showing up in their lives this week. Chavia and I committed to pray for them and specifically that God would reveal Himself to them in an undeniable way. He did.
Chavia: After I met Esther, we pretty much hit it off right away. She loves sports, and so I was able to connect with her through softball. Yesterday, Kate was having lunch with her and so I asked her if she would want to hang out and go to The Gathering that night. She agreed, and so last night we hung out just talking and talking for several hours in the Stamp, while we were waiting for the meeting to start. She ended up pouring out her heart, and told me that the thing that was keeping her from trusting Jesus as her Lord and Savior were her past sins. I reminded her of how when you put your trust in Jesus, He covers you with His righteousness, and forgives you of your sin. I really sensed the Spirit the whole time we were talking. When we got to The Gathering, there was a verse that they put on the screen from Ezekiel 36:25-27. It talks about how the Lord cleanses us from all our sins, and gives us a new heart of flesh taking out our heart of stone. I felt the Lord wanted me to read it to Esther after the service. The message that night was all about the Lord’s specific love for each of us, and the pastor spoke to people who were holding back from accepting Jesus because of their sins. At the end he took communion, and gave the explanation of how only people who are Christians could partake. I leaned over and asked Esther what she was thinking. She said she thought we should go up there, and asked me if I could pray with her. As I led her through the sinner’s prayer, she cried and cried! Afterward, she was sooo happy, and kept talking about the new peace in her heart. I shared Ezekiel 36 with her again and she told me that verse had really spoken to her when she saw it on the screen. All in all, it was an awesome night, and I really wish that Kate could have been there, since she’s been investing in Esther’s life since last spring :) But, as Kate and I were talking this morning we were able to rejoice in the truth that it is not the sower or the reaper who gets the glory, but the Lord who is mighty to save! He is truly in the midst of this campus, and we are excited to see what else He is going to do!
Please pray for Esther’s friend Grace and her roommate, Tiffany, to know the Lord just as Esther has!
“This is the best gift I’ve ever been given…”
This is what Winnie said when I handed her own copy of the Bible. Winnie is a student in the Maryland English Institute (MEI) at UMD who has been exploring the claims of the Bible within our OneU small group Bible Study.
At the beginning of spring semester, it became clear that there were some foundational truths missing from her understanding of Scripture. So we took a step back and began reading through some of the Old Testament stories together in her new Bible. As we did this over the course of a few weeks, it was as if Winnie’s eyes were being opened to see the rich truths of the Bible in a brand new way! A few weeks prior to this, Winnie told me she was beginning to believe that the Jesus of the Bible might be real. However, she said she wanted to be convinced by God Himself so no one could talk her out of it later on. Essentially, she wanted God to reveal Himself to her. I encouraged her to take the next few weeks to pray, read her Bible and watch for what God may do in her life.
Throughout the following weeks many things began to happen—out of the ordinary things for her. With each of these occurrences, she would tell me, “This must be God!” In His faithfulness, the Lord was revealing Himself to Winnie.
So we met up for ice cream one afternoon and she began to excitedly tell me, “Kate, God did more miracles in my life this week! Even though they are small, I know it is Him because I feel different inside, like something inside has changed. I have joy and hope where before I just had emptiness. I didn’t know what to do so I had to come and tell you!” She was smiling from ear to ear. I asked if she would like to pray and commit her life to God, trusting Jesus as her Lord and Savior. “Yes! I want to!” Though we had spoken about the gospel many times before, this time she was ready. So, we prayed and she gave her life to the Lord!
Here’s how Winnie summarized it all:
“There is only one word for all of this, it is: Amazing! Amazing that God would bring me to America. Amazing that God would let us meet each other. Amazing that I would hear the gospel. Amazing that God would save me with all of my sin. I can’t believe it!”