“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – B. Franklin
The sign that said that caught students’ attention too. On April 24, we spent about 10 hours at Georgetown University for Georgetown Day, the campus’ annual excuse for an all-day block party on the quad complete with bands, free food and about 10,000 people. Georgetown Day sees a lot of alcohol consumed by students (as we got to campus at 10:30 a.m., the liquor store’s line was out the door). Beer is on many minds already; God, maybe not.
Needless to say, our table about beer, God and happiness provoked some interesting conversations. With a survey about the Ben Franklin quote, we requested thoughts on God, the nature of love and happiness, and even the meaning of Jesus’ death. Below is a quote from a corresponding website, BeerIsProof.org:
“To Ben the issue was simple. Simple enough that a cold beer from the local pub was proof that God loved him. What about you? Consider laughter, music, sunsets at the beach and the miraculous combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Do these things suggest that the genius behind it all wants us to be happy?”
Without endorsing drinking, we managed to have over 100 conversations and at least one person who said that he wanted to invite Christ into his life. Apparently anything can start a conversation about Jesus.
Go big or go home – and bring someone with you.
The semester is over. Students have moved home, gone to their summer projects or graduated and started “real life.” Last week at an end-of-the year retreat to help us look back before we look forward, we named as our greatest “wins” things that happened in our homes and extended “off hours” hangout times – out on the quad until midnight, at our place drinking tea over movies and life discussions, at campfires at the staff guys’ house, or at gatherings sharing home-cooked meals on couches rather than in fluorescent-lit meeting rooms facing front.
Year Two has seen God answer our prayer for genuine community marked by transformation. Internationals, skeptics of all varieties and even a few Jewish students have hung around to consider the claims of Jesus. Things have come into the open that normally don’t. We haven’t seen the masses come to meetings, but lives are changing. Praise God!
Lean, mean and on the scene!
This year we had a ready-made community of 9 staff and interns and three apartments to invite students into. With the close of the year comes (hopefully temporary) end of this fun chapter. This fall, it will be just 3 of us. Some of the interns will be fundraising and going elsewhere, one is moving on to pursue a masters and the other couple will be moving to an established ministry where their gifts will be a better fit. Every change comes with pros and cons, but we’re excited to see what the year will bring! Pray that God would fight our battles for us, and provide a way to move closer into the city.
As we hope to move from Arlington into DC at some point, pray that we’d find affordable housing that can fit lots of students.
This summer we’ll be taking classes again – this time to help us learn how to lead a team and structure a movement. We’re pining for summer project but recognize our need for training.
We’ll be working on developing a larger support base in DC this summer before and after our assignment, pray for contacts and perseverance in that work.