Jay & Kelley Reapsome- serving with CRU/Bridges International at Penn State
Thank you for sending me to Boston and for praying for the students and staff during our training! One student said this about her Trek experience, "The Trek was so encouraging to me. It changed my desire to love. It was a place of personal growth and it was such a healing experience."
The theme of our Boston Trek was "SET FREE" and God blessed our work to share His truths that have the power to set people free! A couple students commented on how God helped them deal with inner personal struggles and/or helped them recognize their new identity in Christ. Mary said, "I really did not want to share my weaknesses with others. I became more vulnerable. (However,) I am worried that when I go back tomorrow I won't be spiritual. I don't want to lose faith."
Many of the students God brought to the Trek returned to their US campus last week, but three students returned to China shortly after the project. For many students returning home will be a big adjustment as they learn to walk with Jesus without a supporting community of believers. We make every effort to connect these students with believers in their home cities, but our contacts are limited to mostly the largest cities in China. Please pray for Mary and other young believers that are back in China adjusting to following Jesus in an unbelieving environment!
Evangelism training is an emphasis of the Boston Trek. Each day we had an outreach to international students in Boston. For many of the students it was the first time they have ever initiated sharing their faith. This can be a scary experience. However, God honored their step of faith to initiate with strangers. As a result of their initiative God opened the door for them to share the Gospel 47 times in seven days of outreach.
Here's what Shelly said about her experience of learning to share her faith boldly, “It changed the way I think about missions as I told other people about God”. Charles said, "Talking with people about God is easier than I thought." Harry learned to trust God in opening doors for spiritual conversations across cultural barriers, "I met three Muslim friends from Iraq. I used to think it would be tough to have a spiritual conversation with them and that they would reject everything I would say to them about Christianity. (After getting to know them I found them to be) friendly, open and honest. We had good spiritual discussions together. I shared my story that I was formerly an atheist and (how I came to) believe that Jesus is the way to God. When we said goodbye they showed their respect and friendship to me by kissing me three times (on the cheek). I think the door to their heart is open."
One morning students were challenged to connect with a friend or family member back in China through the internet or by phone to share the Gospel with them. Many of the students reported that they had very open conversations. In consideration of his roommate Frank laid in the dormitory hallway so that he could keep his phone plugged into an outlet (low battery) while sharing the Four Spiritual Laws Gospel tract with his friend. He later reported that he was very encouraged that his friend listen quietly to all four points and the verses and responded by saying he needed to think more about these points. They plan to talk again soon.
Praise God for all He did in and through these students! Thank you for making sacrifices to send me to Boston to teach them how they can be "SET FREE" and trust God to use them to reach others with the Gospel!
Until the whole world knows,
Jay &Kelley Reapsome