God at Work on the College Campus

For many young adults, college is a time of figuring things out — who they really are, what they'll choose for a career, who they spend time with, perhaps who they partner with for the long haul. The college years are also a time when students establish or further develop their spiritual lives, including a relationship with God. 

New Covenant supports a network of Global Partners who serve on 160 college campuses nationwide, serving more than 40,000 college students each year. These partners work closely with college students, discipling them and encouraging them to walk with Jesus long after graduation.

On Sunday, November 7, four Global Partners will be on hand at New Covenant Bible Church for Global Partner College Sunday. Stop by their tables on Main Street to hear their first-hand experiences of God moving on college campuses in our area. Each table has additional information about how you can be involved in this important work, including how to specifically pray for these students. 

Scott & Paige Heemstra
We asked partners Scott & Paige Heemstra, Eastern Iowa Directors of The Navigators, what they were seeing in their discipleship of students at the University of Iowa. The Heemstras are one of the Global Partners who will be with us for College Sunday on November 7. 

“God has set eternity in the hearts of students, and He is at work at the University of Iowa," Scott said.

"During the first week of school, we surveyed more than 500 students. When we asked, 'If you could have a personal relationship with God, would you want one?', more than 83% of the students surveyed said "yes" or "maybe." Of those surveyed, only 25% said they knew if they died today they would spend eternity with God, but nearly 50% of those surveyed wanted to talk with someone about how they could know!"

Scott went on to share about a student named Logan. 

"I first met Logan during a large group meeting. After I spoke that night about Jesus as our good shepherd, Logan came up to me and told me he really related with what I shared. As I asked him a few questions, he told me that he didn’t know God but wanted to explore who God is. He joined one of our Bible studies, kept coming to our large group meeting, and came with us to our fall retreat. After our fall retreat, Logan trusted Christ as his Lord and Savior!"

College campuses are brimming with students just like Logan; students who have questions and just need a nudge, a listening ear, and discipleship-minded guidance to point them in God's direction.

Eric & Melissa McDonald
The McDonalds serve international students with The Navigators at the Univerisity of Iowa, sharing many first joys with these students far from home: the first time they read the Bible and encounter life-changing words, hearing how they shared a Bible story with their family, coming to believe in God, awareness of their sin, their patient attention as they hear the gospel for the first time. Eric shares:

"But one of the greatest joys, again and again, is to pray with an international student. In these prayers, you hear their dawning understanding of God's great and mighty goodness and of themself in light of this God. I recently prayed with a student after reading the story of Jesus' betrayal by Peter and death in Luke 22. I recorded some of this prayer to share. I will leave out his name to protect his privacy. 

This student prayed, 'God, Jesus suffered the sins for others, he takes the pain for others, and He loves others. He loves a lot. You loved us. Thank God. Thank Jesus. In the Bible, I was so eager to learn more about you. Your image was so great. I will believe in you forever. Lead us. Lead us. Your disciples Peter betrayed you. You forgave them. You are so kind, so nice. Everyone has a weak point. We both have a weak point. We don't always have courage, we are cowards, self-serving. When I meet you, Lord, I feel that my life is completed. I feel full, not afraid, not alone. Even though I was alone in Iowa, in the US, but I know Eric and other friends. We join together, we learn about you, so we are not alone because of You. Please bless me. Amen.'

There are times when a baby's steps are greater in glory than the fastest strides of an Olympic runner. These beginning prayers are as glorious as the greatest prayers of God's saints through the ages. And we know that because of Christ's work as high priest, that each and every prayer of His children arrives at the throne of their Father."

Jason & Erin Pagel
The Pagel's serve with Coalition for Christian Outreach at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. While Jason & Erin won't be with us at New Covenant on College Sunday, Jason shares the following story of how God is using him to reach athletes on campus. 

"I have an opportunity to speak to the football team during breakfast before their games every Saturday morning. Back in September, I spoke on how God uses pain in our lives to mature our faith and trust in Him. I shared how I was in a car accident five years ago and it's changed everything about my life. It's been incredibly difficult but God is using it to grow my trust and faith. After I spoke, Trey, a senior and a safety on the football team, thanked me for speaking and said the guys at his table were talking about their own stories. Trey said sharing my story helped guys see where God was in their pain and suffering."

David & Ashley Hoobler
The Hooblers meet and disciple students on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. David sees over and over how God works ahead of us in ministry. David shares:

"When we put ourselves in a position to meet people and serve the Lord, we will find that He has people ready and waiting. This fall, we sent student leaders out and God had people ready! One of those leaders is Seth. Seth met a guy named Sam on his dorm floor, invited him to church, and Sam was ready to say yes. Seth also met Lucas who was looking for a ride to church. And just like that, Seth began developing relationships with people the Lord provided right where he lived. Fall launch always brings an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation to what the Lord will do in and through relationships like these that begin with a simple ride to church."

College Sunday at New Covenant is a time to hear many more stories from college campuses about people like Logan, Seth, and Trey! It's also your time to encourage the Global Partners who walk this path with college students each day. 

Will you join us in praying for more students to trust Christ this year through these faithful partners?