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In addition to the Zoom Bible studies, book clubs and game nights we have transitioned to during this pandemic, we have continued to provide free lunch on Wednesdays to our students.
We have found another huge blessing in the midst of the pandemic. Traditionally we end our small groups the week before finals and then reestablish them in the fall when students return.
As everything has moved to virtual platforms, we have been able to engage even more students than before. I have been praying that I would get an opportunity to reach out to more college students during this time and God has answered my prayers.
Last month, we kicked off a "BSM Ladies Brunch" as a monthly gathering of girls encouraging one another. For this past ladies brunch, we were unable to be in person but we did engage in a Zoom call.
Right now, our BSM buildings across Texas look similar to the picture above - empty. Our students are spread out across the nation and the world sheltering in place and finishing their classes online.
There are many things we could be praying for this morning as our world deals with new challenges moment by moment from the new COVID-19. We ask that this morning you would pause and pray for our college students that are spread out across Texas and beyond right now continuing to pursue their educations virtually.
At the beginning of the semester, a student named Matthew began coming to the BSM. The first time he heard about Beach Reach, he was excited about it. However, he was worried about not having the money to go.
For the past month, 12 of our students have been going through Beach Reach Training. This training is supposed to help students be prepared to serve at South Padre Island this Spring Break, but it has become so much more.
At the beginning of the fall semester we had around 40 students on leadership and by the end of the semester only 20 said they are returning for the coming spring semester.
One of the unique opportunities that we had this past semester was with the football and basketball teams.
This video shows our director Mark Jones interviewing student leader and BGCT executive board student representative Jamie Richardson after our BSM spring prayer retreat several months ago. Her story with BSM begins as a freshman where she was intentionally reached out to by BSM students on her campus "table-ing."
Please come alongside us and pray for opportunities to engage with students just like Jose (Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvf3clqFKR0) and challenge them to ask the question: Why do people believe in Jesus? What is this Christianity thing all about?
At Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), students from all over the world are gathered to earn their college education. For many years now, there has been no organized presence of workers on campus sharing the gospel and reaching these students for Christ.
One of the softball players asked me to be recognized as her faculty/staff representative at her game.
One of our staff members was sitting outside our BSM building praying for God to move on the campus. An Indian student named Kavi walked up to the building and started talking with our staff. Kavi said that he was an atheist but recently had a dream where he saw Jesus.
We are so excited to see a shift towards evangelism in our BSM students since the spring break mission trip to Nashville, TN. While in Tennessee, our students had gospel training and practiced sharing every day.
I met Rachel at an outreach table and she seemed to be interested in getting involved with our ministry (I assumed she was already a believer). When we met, it only took a few minutes to realize she had not given her life to Christ yet.
This story is one that many college students in Texas can relate to. Rebekah grew up in a Christian home until her whole family had a bad experience with church and turned away from God. In college, Rebekah met one of our BSM student leaders who invited her to our bible study every week for two years.
The numbers presented above are only a glimpse of how God has been working through our BSM students this past week. These represent only a few of the many places BSM students were sent and able to share the story of Jesus Christ with others and only a small glimpse of God working in and through the lives of college students across the world.
March is an exciting month for BSM students as many of them will be using their week of spring break to go on mission trips across the United States.
I made a new friend who is Muslim and attends our large group Bible study out of curiosity about what we believe. As I was talking to her one day, she explained that she reads the Bible and attends our Bible study to get more information about Jesus. She said she does not know if she is ready to believe in Him yet
Over the last few years, our leadership team culture has been quite the "huddled" community. Our students would show up to events mostly for the social benefit and were rarely willing to step out and share their faith.
I began asking the Lord for a culture shift within our leadership team.