Michigan State University (MSU) was abuzz last week with an event that had been in preparations for over a year. When God’s people come together to pray, focus on outreach, train and send out people to do evangelism, raise money for the poor, teach and respond to injustices, and cooperate across ethnicities, astounding things can happen.
In collaboration with at least 18 other campus organizations, the InterVarsity chapter at MSU flooded the campus last week with the Price of Life invitational that demonstrated the unity between social justice and the Gospel.
It took great faith, and a lot of people, to reach a campus of over 40,000 students with a hard-hitting message about justice and Jesus. But God blessed their efforts, and as a result of the outreach 103 students made first-time decisions for Christ.
The goal of the invitational was to communicate to the student body that Christians must do all they can to end the modern day sex slave trade, and that the power of Christ is the answer not only for those trapped in sexual slavery, but for all who are enslaved to sin.
Between November 6 – 8, the invitational dominated the campus scene – from 15 Pröxe stations located at key locations, to seven outreach gatherings that were aimed at specific groups of students, to a 24/7 prayer tent, to the final campus-wide outreach called the Main Event on Thursday evening.
After talking with a student who had just gone through a Proxe station and revealed himself to be a new believer, an InterVarsity staff intern could not keep her enthusiasm to herself, “this one interaction makes this whole thing worth it,” she said. One hundred and three conversions are wonderful – but as this staff intern recognizes, God’s work in the heart of one individual is just as much cause for celebration.
But there were a host of other blessings that God poured onto the invitational. Apart from conversions, 1,000 students participated in the Main Event held on Thursday night. And about 150 students decided to join a Christian group.
It was the power of God, the cooperation of students groups, and their commitment to shed the light of Christ on human atrocities that made the invitational a success. On one afternoon, students Elliot Nelson and Mackenzie Philp stationed themselves outside of Wells Hall setting up a demonstration to illustrate the plight of victims of sex trafficking.
Instead of interacting with a poster, as students did at many of the other Proxe stations, the Human Illustration visually represented an issue of injustice, in this case sex trafficking. While Elliot interacted with passersby, Mackenzie sat silently on a bed, chained onto a dirty mattress.
The two students come from different campus ministries, Elliot from InterVarsity and Mackenzie from Safeway, but they both understand that they form one body in Christ. For that reason, and for their mutual passion for spreading awareness about the injustice of sex trafficking, the two students characterize the cooperation between the different campus groups.
“A lot of people don’t even realize that sexual slavery is going on. It’s important that to let people know that social justice and the Gospel aren’t separate, they go together,” said Elliot.
Mackenzie added, “I want to be a part of this because I know that God cares about everyone, but especially for people who are enslaved. If we don’t do something about it, then who will? Who will speak for the voiceless?”
Raising awareness, and giving a voice to those who are not able to speak for themselves brought together a community of believers and others on campus who often operate very independently from one another. But by working together, and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of students, God’s transformative power was released on campus – bringing many closer to him and the work he’s doing in the world.
Read a first-hand report of a Michigan State student participating in the Price of Life Invitational at InterVarsity’s website for students, StudentSoul.org
You can make a direct financial donation to support InterVarsity’s work in evangelism by following this link.