Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Though so many things have looked different this year, what a joy it is to have a day that reminds our hearts to be grateful and thankful for the many gifts that we have. Today, as you celebrate with your loved ones, I would encourage you to reflect back on the focus of Campus Ministries for the past week: missions. Missions and outreach are a huge part of Campus Ministries at Regent. CM strives to serve the surrounding community through relational and evangelism-based programs throughout each semester.
Just a few days ago, the Regent student body spent Missions Week exploring God’s heart for missions, the reason behind outreach, and how God has called us to live a missions-oriented life. After sitting through various lectures, panels, and chapel services one of the things God reminded me of was that we are not called to have a “missions hat” that we put on for a week here and there, but instead to live a missional life. You have probably heard the infamous command of Jesus to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” and be the “salt and light of the world” (Matthew 28:19, Matthew 5:13). This command is not just for overseas missionaries or those in persecuted countries. God has called you and I to live a life in light of the Gospel, and this includes living with a missionary mindset. It can feel daunting to live in this missional mindset, but I would like to challenge and encourage you with an attainable, valuable, Biblical way to keep your thoughts others-focused this holiday season.
Some of you may be familiar with the Good Fridays and Heart and Hands outreach that Campus Ministries facilitated last year. Good Fridays are focused on building relationships with children in the local community. Kids from government subsidized housing neighborhoods gather together at a local park each week and Regent students pour into them through games, activities, and being positive role models in their lives, something that most of these children do not have at home. Once relationships with these children have been established over time, the gospel can be effectively shared through conversations and lessons in between playtime at the park. Heart and Hands takes a slightly different approach, focusing on another important aspect of outreach through street evangelism with members from the local community. Typically they focus on evangelism training as a team before heading out to shopping malls, stores, and neighborhoods to bring the good news to those who have never heard it before.
Unfortunately, due to COVID regulations, these outreach days in the community looked very different and were not open to the student body at large this semester, but that does not have to prevent us from praying specifically and intentionally for people in the Hampton Roads area, particularly over break! Prayer is a fundamental part of developing this mission’s mindset, and we have the joy of serving a God who sees His people and hears their prayers no matter where they are.
Please join me in praying for:
- The children in the Hampton Roads area. Many of them are dealing with the daily struggles of online school, cancelled activities, and anxieties of COVID on top of food insecurities, toxic relationships, and unstable home environments. Pray that their holidays would be a time filled with joy and peace.
- The parents, professionals, and anyone feeling discouraged this holiday season in the Hampton Roads area.
- The Hampton Roads community at large. Pray for the gospel to permeate the homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, and families in the area surrounding Regent, and that God would open ears and hearts to His good news, especially as we approach Christmas this year! Pray that God would put people and churches in this area to be His hands and feet and reach those feeling unloved and hopeless.
Even while we are away from school these next few weeks, we can intercede for those in our communities in need of the gospel. Seeds can be planted and faith can grow through prayer even if we don’t know the people God might be reaching as we intercede for them!