Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

The far far north! January 22, 2009

So, I have been in the far north for a week now which has flown by that is for sure!imag0246

First few days were a great chance to relax and see northern friends and family (as well as loosing a wisdom tooth 😦 ) But, sunday saw the start of the main reason for my northern trip – Lancaster University Mission Week!

This is my second mission week this year (both in Lancaster but at different Universities). Read about my first one here.

I planning on heading to bed soonish so this is going to be short but here is a brief update so far . . .

This is week one of a two week mission so it is less intense that the one at University of Cumbria in November but an average day is prayer with the whole CU at 9, CUG (Christian Union Guest) meeting and breakfast at 10. 11-1 is the main time for doign flyers and questionnaires which usually absolutly petrify me and the whole time I was a relay worker in Lancaster I hated it- the whole idea of stopping someone in the street to tell them what I believe is so so scary!! But this week I am loving it. It’s still difficult and still have to remind myself why I ‘m doing it but being able to get alongside the students and see them gain in confidence in doing them for the first time has been fantastic. Evenings are dinner parties with small group members and their friends and small group events including things like text a toastie.

The lunchbars so far have been really well attending with numbers starting at 75 on monday and reaching 111 today! They are being held in a marquee quite central to campus (which is pictured with the signs and me and Alex a student, showing off the FREE hoodies). I do still find it miraculous that people will come and listen to a 20 minute talk about the gospel and even ask questions! It’s just so bizarre (to my mind!) but it just shows how powerful the gospel is. I’ve been reminded over and over this week to not judge people in terms of who will and who won’t be interested in finding out more about it. There is no one too cool or sorted. So many people are willing to take FREE gospels as well which is amazing. Michael Ots, the speaker has been keeping his blog up to date with more info on lunchbars.

Being a CUG on this mission has been great (so far and don’t think it’ll change!) for seeing God work, having a bit more time to spend with individuals, but also to spend time with the other CUGs, a lot of whom I know but some I don’t and just talking honestly with them about living as a Christian is so encouraging.

Tomorrow night is my small group event which is free cocktails and a quiz at which I’m giving talk on ‘is the gospel relevant to me’ so watch this space  . . .


FREE at University of Cumbria November 18, 2008

What a week it has been! The start of Cumbria mission week was a bit of a shock to the system – really wasn’t used to late nights and still getting up the next morning. But it was also an amazing week. The mission, also combined the FREE gospel distribution and there was an aim of 1000 gospels and around 700 were given out throughout the week which was amazing! I was so encouraged to see so many of the CU getting behind the week and inviting friends – and so many of them did what I didn’t have the guts to do when I was at Uni – standing up in front of their whole lecture 102theatre and offering everyone there a copy of Mark’s gospel. It was so great to see that misison week wasn’t the week where they did ‘evangelism’ but actually they seem to be getting into it as a whole year thing.

During the morning we were around campus doing questionnaires and giving people flyers inviting them to events that were happening throughout the week. I was so encouraged and remdind just how open people generally are at the University of Cumbria to talk about things and to come along to events as well as the reminder that we need to rely solely on God for the confidence and courage to walk up to people! There was also a stall in the Students Union which had random fairground style games to attract attention to what we were doing, which is did and so many of the people that came over just couldn’t believe it was all free. It was also, a great opportunity to offer people the chance to take a copy of Mark to read for themselves, and so many of them did – another amazing encouragement. 103

The first event of the day was a ‘lunchbar’ basically a free lunchtime talk with a free lunch! The titles were all based on the question “What would Jesus say to …” and included people such as Michael Phelps and Jennifer Aniston. So many people came wanting to hear what this “fictional” creature could have to say to these celebrities and there were a few who came back day after day to listen and to ask their questions at the end. (pictured is Anna speaking at a lunchbar – right)

At the acoustic nightThe evenings were full of lots of different events such as an acoustic night (see picture on the left) and a pub quiz. All of them had a talk from Mark’s gospel, and as I always am in evangelistic events so many people were interested and wanting to talk the issues through.Others have also been blogging about the mission – see Mo (who was the main speaker of the week along with his lovely wife Anna) and Peter Dray who’s blogged about the mission but also about the reason we should be praising God:

But perhaps above all we should be praising the Lord that he’s the sort of God who wants relationship with creatures like us, that he’s the sort of God that comes not to be served but to serve, and to sort of God who accepts us if only we admit that we are ill and sinful and have nothing to offer, and approach him as children.

Such a great truth!

And finally doing a mission in my home town also meant I had the chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones . . . . my friends new baby, Barnabas 🙂