Dear Partners in Prayer,
We covet your prayers as our student leadership has undertaken an enormous outreach effort--to reach every senior before he or she leaves Yale. At midnight on February 16, the email below was sent to the 1,322 members of the senior class. By 10am it had been opened by more than 1000 people.
Please pray that students' hearts and minds would be opened to receive the only way to life and salvation: Jesus Christ. Pray for the students who respond (there's a link in the original email) for books, a meeting with a student or ministry fellow, or who choose to come to a meeting next Wednesday at 8pm. Pray for students in our ministry who are responding to these requests for follow-up to be filled with the love, wisdom and boldness that only comes from Jesus. Pray for many to receive Christ in their final months at Yale and for their lives to be forever changed because of him. Pray this initiative, which will continue throughout the semester, that God would be glorified and that many would come to know him. Thank you for your prayers!!
Here's the email:
We hope you are enjoying your spring semester so far. Don't worry, this is not an invitation for a social event, or for a club. It's not for a seminar or a college tea. And it's not for an internship. We are inviting you to something a little different: a conversation about a few questions we all may have during a time of transition- where am I going with my life, what is the meaning of it all, and is there anything more than this? You might've gone through all four years of college without having considered these topics. Maybe you have heard the common answers before, or maybe it just hasn't been interesting to you. Or maybe you have spent a lot of time thinking about these questions, but the answers don't seem to come too easily. Regardless, these questions are important and are worth the effort. With only a semester left at Yale, a place where we can openly explore the answers to questions like these, we hope that you make the most of the opportunity to do so.
We are inviting you to consider the claims of a 1st century Jewish man named Jesus of Nazareth, whom many worship and see as their greatest treasure. Call it what you will - religion or just stupidity - many people on campus call it their life and joy. You may have met some of these individuals already, as they are fellow members of your class. Here are some of their stories:
"When I matriculated into Yale a few years ago, I brought with me familial experiences of love and pain, a desire for wisdom and for financial stability, and an underused set of rosary beads. I found Yale to be disorienting even as it brought all sorts of exciting opportunities to my life I would never have had before. During my sophomore year, I came to a place of darkness where all the painful moments of my nineteen years of life felt inescapable, like they had shut out the sun, and I felt afraid of everything and of myself. In that time, I had little motivation to do anything, but somehow I found myself in a church pew, where a priest who will never know my name spoke words of light to me from the pulpit. “Love is the opposite of fear,” he said, “Perfect love casts out fear. The Bible tells us more than it tells us anything else, ‘Do not be afraid.” I found through his well-timed words that the only thing that could drive out my fear was Love itself: love for my family, suitemates, and neighbors. Though my days of darkness were not immediately broken, their focus was re-shifted: I realized that my love of those surrounding me was how my own wounds would be healed."
"This feeling of restlessness and homesickness wells up like a cloud, and sometimes it pricks at my heart. I’ll feel homesick at home when I lay in my bed and think of the friends I won’t see for a while. But the thought that Jesus had no home that he felt out of place- that he knows how I feel- comforts me. Knowing and loving Him, I find a home, and I trust that, wherever I go, I will find a faith community that will welcome and encourage me."
"Christianity is often thought of as just another system that demands us to prove ourselves. “Follow these rules, and you’ll be saved,” Jesus seems to say. But far from asking us to prove ourselves, the gospel actually claims that Jesus freely justifies us himself. He rewards us with a medal based not on our merit but on his own, freeing us to run our race not to prove our worth, but for the joy of the running itself and in gratitude to him who justified us."
We know that senior year is a time of many questions and transitions. If exploring faith is of interest to you, for whatever reason, we want to provide an opportunity for you to explore and ask questions. Next Wednesday night, members of Christian Union and other campus ministries will be in LC 211 between 8 and 10pm. Please come if you would like to be prayed for, or meet with someone.
Maybe connecting in a different way is better for you. Maybe you’d prefer to attend a church service, read a selection of books or meet with someone to talk things through. All of you are invited and all of you are welcome.
Please feel free to connect with Christian Union through the form provided below or learn more about us at www.christianunionatyale.org.
We hope to see some of you next Wednesday, and wish you the best for a joyful and fulfilling senior year.
Christian Union Ministry Fellow