In the start of October I was given the opportunity to join Michael Ots and his team on a mission trip to Malta helping to lead the University Christian Union events week.
Having spent our time in research and preparation before flying over, I met the MOET team headed up by Michael at the Airport on the Sunday. That day, after meeting together with the guys who were involved in the bible group at the university and our IFES contact, Geoff Cuschieri, we took a coach of students down to the beach for a BBQ to chat and launch the week’s events.
A lot of the rest of the week involved giving flyers out to students around campus and talking with them about the big questions surrounding faith and what it means to be a Christian. Following that, we would run a lunchtime talk hosted by Michael and in the evening, we would run an evening talk all on typical popular apologetics questions such as ‘Where is God in the Pain and Suffering?’ and ‘Is the Bible relevant and reliable today?’.
Over the week, I got to chat with so many of the students at the university, each at their own journeys in life and faith, from questioning the existence of God, to the nature of Jesus and what he stood for. I had so many incredible opportunities to share my faith with those I spoke to and it was encouraging to see how they each responded in their own ways and continued to keep coming back to the events we put on.
On Friday, I led the Bible devotion in the morning with the rest of the team on the story in John 4 where Jesus has met the woman at the well, shared with her about this everlasting water that will never run out, and she has gone back to tell the rest of her town about him. As the town-folk all come out to see Jesus, his disciples return and Jesus says this to them in 4:35-38:
Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.” – John 4:35-38
There was so much to bring out of this passage, but as we were drawing to the end of the week, I felt God remind me that, though we were only there for the week, we may have been able to sow some seeds in those we spoke to over the week, challenging them on their beliefs, but it would most likely be others in the team, or maybe other Christian friends on their journeys 10 years from now who may see them turn to Jesus later on. We had been sent to do part of the hard work, sowing the seeds in these students, but others will reap the benefits later on.
Following this devotion, I met a Maltese girl studying at the university and we proceededto spend the next 3 hours talking about our faith and how she had been hurt by institutionalised religion in the past, but how, the very heart of Christianity, is not an institution, but a relationship with Jesus and Church is the fellowship that is brought about because of that.
Inspired by our conversation, she decided to join the Christian Union at the university and became impassioned to tell others about the good news, a bit like the woman at the well.
Only near the end of the conversation, did I find out her name was Therese.
Suddenly, when I heard that name, I felt God ask me ‘What does that name mean?’. Neither of us knew, but when I looked up, I found out that, in fact the name Therese comes from the Greek verb θερίζω (therizo) meaning ‘to reap the harvest’ where her name literally means harvest! She was the harvest!
Whatever God was meaning by putting her here at that situation, I don’t necessarily know, but it left both of us feeling amazed.
Most days whilst I was there, we had similar things happen and I have so many stories to tell about it, but one thing I came to realise after I returned home was that God really does provide for us exactly what we need in every situation when we trust him.
When we say, ‘I’m not worth it’, God says ‘It will be worth it’ – Romans 8:28.
And when we say, ‘I’m not equipped to do it’, we’re told ‘God will supply all our needs’ – Philippians 4:19.
Recently I’ve been having to rely on God in so many ways, not least of all being my finances. In my fundraising for the YWAM Discipleship Training School I’ll be attending in January, I have been juggling 4 jobs and prayerfully trying to find support as I go over there, but this whole time, though I don’t feel equipped or with the right financial backing at the moment, I know that God will supply all my needs at the right time, we just need to be obedient to him seeking his direction daily in our lives.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19