Each Thursday, three of our Michigan “Gappers” drive 45 minutes south from Lansing to Jackson College to do outreach there. We sat down with Gab, Maria, and Lea to hear some reflections on this outreach adventure they have been doing since the fall.
“We do a Bible study with a small group each week,” our Gap missionaries shared. “Generally, we get around five people a week. Then we do prayer ministry, followed by 30-45 minutes of outreach to other students. Our Jackson students there are happy with our time together and the outreach opportunities.
“We also invite Jackson College students to attend some University Christian Outreach (UCO) events in Lansing. They always enjoy the time with the bigger group and the large ‘Campus Wide’ monthly prayer meetings where there are often over 100 students praying and worshipping together. They also like the ‘community feel’ of UCO Lansing and the environment they experience there.
Gab said, “I have improved in confidence doing this sort of outreach. I have certainly grown in the strength and courage to invite people to events through serving the Jackson outreach.”
“It is great to see how students grow in the Lord,” Lea shared. “It is also amazing to witness God answering prayers for them and for us!”
Some other blessings of the relationships made in Jackson included being able to “delve deeper with personal connections,” as one Gapper shared. “Because it is a smaller group, it has allowed for more personal sharing and friendship building.”
“We are also learning that even when we don’t see direct fruit from our service there, God is definitely working. Lives are being changed!”
A man who has worked for outreach at Jackson College for many years shared more with us about the impact of the January UCO Fan Into Flame retreat on some of the Jackson students. “The Fan Into Flame was a big event in the lives of the young men and women from Jackson College. The atmosphere at the camp where the retreat was held was something they expressed they had never felt before. The retreat allowed them to see how a big community of Christians live, and a testament of the Lord they serve. Some expressed that it felt like ‘a glimpse of heaven.’
“Carson, one of the guys, asked, ‘why is it that since I came to this place I am feeling like my worries have all gone away?’ Sierra said it been a life-changing experience for her (she was prayed for and received the gift of tongues). Conrad said he experienced a very deep connection with the Lord.
“Everyone felt like this was something that exceeded their expectations. Since most of them are new to the Christian faith, with small groups after every talk, they were able to talk about following Jesus Christ, experiencing the Holy Spirit, and personal faith struggles. Every one of our students received prayer. From my perspective, the desire in our students to live for the Lord was at an all-time high as a result of the retreat.”
Our Stand in the Gap program “stretches” our participants in service, prayer, outreach, and learning more about Jesus Christ. Having 18 and 19-year-olds do the kind of “gutsy” outreach that our gappers do (and many adults would fear to do) at Jackson College is part of that stretching. Thank you for supporting them; their service not only changes them but has a real impact on those they are reaching out to. Our desire for our gappers is for them to live their whole lives, for the rest of their lives, for Jesus Christ. We very much appreciate your partnership in this mission by your prayers and financial support. God bless you!
Your brother in the Lord,