Welcome to my October prayer update. Now that the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” is well under way I’m particularly thankful to you all for your prayerful support in the midst of a busy season for CUs.
October has been a busy month full of CU activity, team commitments and wonderful visits to friends and family. The month kicked off with a particularly full programme for SAUCU. The Acoustic Night I had been invited to speak and sing at was, sadly, cancelled at the last minute, so I had the privilege of dropping into a “Text – a – Toastie” event instead, where students text the CU questions about Christianity and they respond with an answer and a free toasted sandwich. This lead to many fruitful discussions and at least a handful of people have been reading through John’s Gospel off the back of this and other hall events that evening!
The very next day Hamish Sneddon, a local church pastor, gave a lunchtime talk on the topic “Does God Really Care About Sex?”, which again lead to some great discussions. At the end of that busy week around 200 students from across Scotland gathered in Dundee for the Scotland ‘Go Day’, a day CU training. 25 students from St Andrews
came along to this and benefited from some helpful teaching on the book of Daniel.
Towards the end of the month, it was encouraging to attend the Student Ministries Lunch in Edinburgh, joining together with other Student Mission organisations to pray for one another. All of this alongside the day-to-day business of meeting students, going to CU meetings, study and several team days has made for a pretty full diary in October! All of these things have been a joy to be a part of, but I’ve also been really thankful for good rest time, especially the chance to visit family at home and friends in Newcastle. Witnessing a 3-0 victory at St James’s Park was certainly a great blessing!
Day to Day as a Staff Worker with Jonny
All the way back in my first prayer letter I wrote a short section on what a Staff Worker actually does, but I thought it would be helpful to share some more specific aspects of the job throughout my time. Since Staff Work is a largely relational job I’ve decided to shed some light on the people I actually work with!
I’m going to start this month by telling you about Jonny. Jonny is a 3rd-year Chemistry student from Cambridgeshire and, as the Prayer Secretary for SAUCU, encourages the CU in their praying for evangelism by leading the two weekly prayer breakfasts. He has loved getting involved in CU and his favourite thing about it is the unity between Christians from different church background as they put aside differences for the single purpose of sharing the gospel.
I meet with Jonny every Monday at 8.30am for a bacon butty and some time spent reading the Bible. We’ve been working our way through the book of James and have been challenged to remember exactly what Christ has done for us and how we should live in response. Pray for him to grow in his faith, to be sustained in a busy year of CU service and to have great opportunities to share his faith with his friends!
A marquee signing
Each year CUs across Britain run Events Weeks, laying on different events with Gospel content as a catalyst for their on-going work of evangelism. This year the theme of SAUCU’s events week is ‘Story’. We will be taking to campus to ask people the simple question; “what’s your story?” as well as encouraging CU students to share the story of how they came to encounter Jesus with their friends. Mark Ellis, a church leader in Dundee, will be giving a series of talks on the grand story of salvation as revealed in the four Gospels.
Excitingly, in the last month, the CU got permission from the University to put up a marquee on a patch of grass outside the library to host all of their main events for ‘Story’. This is a prime location in St Andrews and we’re very excited for the opportunity this gives us! Having a marquee would mean getting to host all of the events in one central venue, which helps to create a buzz about the week and helps guests to feel more comfortable and at home as the week goes on. The CU are currently trying to raise the necessary funds for the hire of a good quality marquee, so please do pray specifically for this and, if you’d like to give towards this as a one off, let me know!
“I’ll just end up walking In the cold November rain..” Guns ‘N’ Roses
November is always a busy month in the life of a CU as the term is well under way and there're lots to get done before Christmas! SAUCU is no exception. The main things coming up this month are the Wine and Cheese Evening with a Q&A panel made up of local church staff at the start of the month and, at the very end, the CU Carol Service, at which Mark Ellis, our events week speaker, will be speaking. Pray, for these big one-off events to be useful catalysts for on-going evangelism. We recently encouraged each CU member to think of one friend to read through John’ Gospel with, so pray they take opportunities to do that this month.
November also involves more time away from St Andrews for me. From the 8th-11th I’ll be down in Oxford for T1, a training conference for all 1st-year staff. I’ll be rushing back from this to go straight to CU House Party, a weekend away for SAUCU where Mark Ellis will be the main speaker. Pray that this would be a helpful time of the wider CU getting to know each other, especially 1st years. Finally, Words for Life runs from 25th-27th November in Arbroath. This is a conference that helps equips students to give evangelistic talks from the Bible, so pray it would be really useful for those who come along. With all this travelling around pray for my energy levels and that I’d be organised enough to not neglect the important day-to-day jobs!
Give thanks for:
- Encouraging students who’ve been actively engaged in evangelism
- Continued settling into St Andrews and strengthening friendships
- Good, restful visits to Northern Ireland and Newcastle and good time spent with old friends
Please pray for:
- God’s provision for an Events Week Marquee
- Jonny as he seeks to live for Jesus at Uni
- T1, House Party and Words for Life to be helpful times away
- CU Members reading Uncover John with their friends
- Good time management and time spent with God in the midst of a busy month!