Hello all! As you may have seen in my previous post on Belfrey Students, club mission will be coming back for four nights over the next few weeks: 7th, 9th, 14th and 16th June. In case you haven't already had club mission explained, it is when we go out at night onto the streets of York and give water bottles to clubbers. Through this, we have opportunities to talk to people about the gospel. I thought I'd write this blog to share some testimonies from different people who tried club mission this year. I also wanted to share a bit about my own experience.
I was in my first year at University when I got asked to try it. Naturally, I was scared, as I would not have considered myself an evangelist. Any conversation I had with friends about my faith was highly nerve-wracking and I usually felt like I was just being shouted down. So, doing club mission was not something that filled me with excitement. Before I went out the first time, I was longing for it just to be over.
So, you may wonder why I am now the annoying person attempting to persuade all of you to try it? The reason for this is, despite my insecurities and my fears, God has used me. Most of the time this was nothing to do with me. After three and a half years of doing club mission, I can honestly say that I have rarely started a conversation with someone about God. Yet, I have had countless conversations about him with people. People, when they discover I am a Christian, want to discuss it with me. I have had opportunities to pray for people. I have got to hear about people's stories and beliefs. I have seen people begin to come back to church or even try it for the first time because of a conversation they had with one of us. I have been so blessed. God has used me and so many others, not because we are any more dynamic or gifted than anyone else. He has used us because he asked and we said yes!
Here are some other testimonies:
'Club mission is so much fun. It's crazy that something like blessing someone with a free bottle of water on their night out can quickly lead to talking about the deepest questions of life. From the girl who chatted to me for half an hour in which the conversation went round in circles, to a few friends who agreed to get prayed for, it's always an amazing experience to see God at work.' Ben Priest-member of Michael Le Belfrey.
'I met this girl when I went out with my Belfrey group and we started talking about why we gave out water. She cried and I prayed for her and, then, I got her to add me on Facebook. We now have spoken ever since on Facebook and we are really good friends. She said she believed us meeting was a part of God's plan and is really grateful that I have come into her life. She has asked me about so many different topics: creation, heaven and hell, etc. She is so close to becoming a Christian and really wants to find a church in Bristol, where she lives. However, she suffers from anxiety, which is preventing her at the moment. But, overall, we have become good friends and had good chats.' Alicia Downs, York St John Student and member of Michael Le Belfrey.
'I'm not the most confident when faced with something new and mostly it causes me so much fear that I avoid it. I was asked to do club mission and I said yes! I was very nervous and pictured an environment of drunks shouting and swearing. What I experienced was the absolute opposite of what I imagined. I never realised how much a bottle of water could make such a difference to our community, as students stopped to talk after being offered water. Halfway into this night I got talking to a student who opened up to me about faith and asked for prayer. I prayed for her and that had to be one of the most rewarding experiences I have encountered. Not only did I see how God would use me, but I saw the incredible difference that he made for this girl. The love and joy he brought to the city was incredible. I encourage everybody to try club mission. It is so rewarding to see how God can use you.' Maisie Smith, University of York Student and member of Michael Le Belfrey.
'I've been doing club mission for around a year now. I started doing it because it was a really great way to push myself out of my comfort zone in terms of talking about faith, because for some reason talking about God to total strangers can be really scary! But it's such a wonderful way to serve and you have no idea the seeds you could be planting by just being there and sharing water on a night out. I think there's a stereotype that Christians are usually judgemental, boring and unapproachable, so it's great to challenge that perception through club mission. Sometimes just having a chat with someone about their night and being friendly can make a huge difference. Some people are surprised at how 'normal' we are! I would definitely recommend trying it, even once, because it's such a great way to show love to the students in our city and talk about how amazing it is to be a follower of Christ.' Lizzie Banardo, University of York Student and member of Michael Le Belfrey.
Livvi Scales is one of the student forgees at the Belfrey. She has helped lead club mission for the last three and a half years and is passionate about seeing how God can influence lives through it.