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Gratitude Leads to Deeper Faith
Whenever we count our blessings and give thanks to God, we demonstrate our trust in him for not only our present needs but for the questions and issues of tomorrow. When our prayers are filled with thankfulness, we discover that our gratitude leads to a deeper faith.
InterVarsity is grateful to God for his abundant blessings and for the prayers and financial support of our many donors within the church. Without God’s blessings and our donors’ contributions, InterVarsity’s campus ministries would not be experiencing the extraordinary growth that they’ve enjoyed for the fifth consecutive year.
Evangelism is Increasing
Evangelism is a priority among InterVarsity staff and student leaders. Last academic year, the total number of people on campus who heard the gospel through InterVarsity and decided to follow Jesus was up 27% over the previous year. That percentage represents our highest increase ever in students’ decisions to follow Jesus and is double the increase of seven years ago.
Staff and students are at the heart of our campus ministries. John, an InterVarsity staff worker at Lake Forest College in Illinois, frequently leads InterVarsity students in doing evangelism on campus. One day as the group was sharing the gospel in a student cafeteria, John saw a long-haired young man dressed in black, looking friendless. John sat beside this student and gently began a conversation. John asked if he could share the good news of Jesus Christ. The student didn’t look up; he just shrugged.
John recognized this student’s pain, his loneliness. He shared with this young man the biblical message of God’s love and explained that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross will cleanse us of moral guilt, if we chose to accept him as our Savior. Pensive and unresponsive, this student gave no indication that he was listening. But John believed that God was calling him to speak encouraging words to this student.
John then said that Jesus rose from the dead and that we too can have eternal life through Christ living in us. The student looked away. He refused to make eye contact with John. So the conversation ended with John wondering why he’d believed God had called him to talk to this young man.
Three weeks later, a remarkable thing happened. At an InterVarsity Large Group meeting, a smiling, clean-cut student approached John and said, “Remember me? I met you a few weeks ago.”
Certain that he’d never before seen this pleasant fellow, John asked: “Where did we meet? I don’t remember meeting you.”
“In the cafeteria,” said the student.
John’s eyes sparkled as he recognized the student. John couldn’t help but laugh with delight as he gave this young man a friendly pat on his shoulder. “Man, you look different,” he said.
This student then told John that after their “conversation,” he had had a growing sense of conviction about his dark lifestyle and prayed to asked Jesus for the new life. After that, he said, his heart and mind seemed different. His dark desires were disappearing; his sullen attitudes, were being replaced with gratitude. And he now yearned to follow Jesus. So on this night he had come to InterVarsity’s Large Group meeting.
Deepening Our Faith
InterVarsity is grateful to God for those miraculous opportunities to share the gospel with students and faculty on all the 576 campuses where we now have ministries. In response to God’s blessings, we are giving ourselves even more fully to his mission by preparing this year to establish more witnessing communities on campuses.
We are also grateful for our donors and thank them for their financial support and prayerful encouragement. Their contributions are enabling us to expand our ministry.