April 2008

The Percentage Problem
In campus ministry, building successful student-led movements often boils down to finding the perfect storm of two things – 1.) a felt spiritual need and 2.) a capacity for leadership. Typically, this has panned out to be most prevalent in the middle-of-the-road schools – the Slippery Rock U.’s, the Penn States, the Virginia Techs, — and we have seen much success in these places. Less often striking this balance are the top 20% (often more self-sufficient and indifferent) and the bottom 20% (often more needy and transient). That’s why gaining momentum in a city ministry can be such an enigma – almost all of our schools fall within these top 20/bottom 20 brackets. Never mind trying to build community among students from such vastly different backgrounds and situations!

So to help gain momentum, our tiny team brought in a task force to increase our manpower by 900%: 60 students from further south willing to “fly north” for spring break. Hailing from Radford University in southern Virginia and the University of Georgia, these brave souls (some relatively new to faith themselves) hit the ground running, talking with students and doing service projects all around the city.

Winds of Change
In a brief overview of Bible imagery, the Wind rarely escapes its “Big Bad Wolf” typecast. Though spoken of often, it’s usually accompanied by words like “scorching, scattered, smote, and swept” in verses about vanity, chaos and destruction. I can only think of two occasions – Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus in John 3 and Pentecost in Acts 2 – where the Wind gets to play the good guy. But this month in DC, it got a star role with two of our visiting spring breakers.

Radford students were the first of our visitors to get out to Bowie State, initially to just cover it in prayer. There weren’t many folks to talk with that Friday, but for some reason, Haley had an unusually strong sense that the Lord’s presence was loud and clear, particularly when the breeze picked up. As it blew, she was struck with an odd sense of God’s love for that campus and the students there.

It wasn’t until Wednesday that Jessica from U. of Georgia would be at Bowie, joining with other Christians there to do some surveys about spiritual things. In the process, she connected with one particular girl and was praying with her before leaving that day. That night at our group sharing time, imagine Haley’s surprise when Jessica recounted that interaction, and how strongly she sensed God’s presence among them when, on an otherwise calm day, the wind picked up noticeably the entire time they were praying!

Things are stirring here in the city. By now, everyone is back home from various spring break ventures and the school year is winding down. But the spiritual atmosphere feels like the hour before a good summer rain, when the light changes quality and leaves upturn and get fidgety. Glimmers of the Holy Spirit’s work are blowing around, foreshadowing movement and change in dry places. Please continue to pray with us for the release of God’s healing, freeing power in DC!

Please Pray For

  • The four new believers @ PGCC who came to faith through spring breakers, as well as the ongoing focus groups we mentioned last month.
  • We have followed what we’ve perceived to be the Lord’s leading and are planning on staying with the DC Metro team another year, please pray for us as we work out all of the details that go into making this a reality.
  • Good closure to the end of the year, even as we prepare for a summer of taking classes, raising funds, and planning for next year.

If you’d like to download the prayer letter, you can download the PDF here.

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