Tuesday, 15 May 2012
At the start of this academic year my team leader challenged us as a staff and relay team to try and study Uncover with someone seeking to find out more about Jesus.
I must admit that I was a little skeptical that I'd either a) have time to do it or b) be able to find someone to do it with.
Anyway, in freshers' week my relay worker Emma took the plunge and boldly invite a Macedonian student to look at it with her (see previous post). They began and as a met with Emma for supervision each week it was wonderful see how they were both learning about Jesus and growing in different ways.
A few weeks later, through the CU, I was introduced to Y from Malaysia. We had a bit of a chat and I asked if he wanted to meet up for coffee. He agreed. We met and got to know one another a little and decided to study Uncover together. As we progressed through the studies, straddling the Christmas break (we started in Nov and finished early March), it was clear that he was intellectually ascenting to the truth the Jesus is the Son of God, but he didn't think he had enough faith to step out and become a Christian.
His brother had become a Christian a few years ago and Y himself had been along to church a few times, and since moving to Teesside Uni for study had been attending the local Chinese Methodist Church where he was regularly hearing from the Bible and studying it.
At the end of the Uncover course I asked him where he thought he was in terms of becoming a Christian and he said he believed it all but wasn't ready to commit. So we decided we would keep meeting and as he read the Bible in his own time he would note down any questions and we would them chat about them when we next met up. By this time it was nearing the Easter break. We met a couple of times like this, but due to holidays and assignments for Y as well as holidays and busyness for me, we had a few weeks without meeting.
Just last week we met once again to chat. But this we mainly spoke about his course finishing, his plans between now and heading home to Malaysia, job prospects and the future. I finally asked him where he now thought he was in terms of trusting Jesus. He smiled and began to tell me that he had been challenged to commit to following Jesus a couple of weeks previous at his church and he had prayed with a friend.
I didn't quite catch what he said the first time, but had caught enough that I ask more directly whether he had prayed to trust Jesus and become a Christian. He had!
I was so excited, and told him that I was too!!! God had been working all along, in my weakness, in my skepticism, and while I wasn't even meeting up with Y. God has it all in His hands. New life is a work of the Spirit, not my efforts.
He worries that His parents think he is just trying to be like his elder brother. He believes they will be supportive of his decision, but wonders if they think he has just jumped on a bandwagon, to use a western phrase. He knows what he believes.
Pray for our new brother in Christ. Praise God for new life. Pray for deep roots to be put down into gospel truth and the character of God. Pray for Y to grow in love for Jesus and find a good church to be part of when he gets back to Malaysia.