Munster region CU Staff Worker, Peter, writes:
These are the (paraphrased) words of a North African student 2 weeks after the International Student Outreach Cork (ISOC). 4 weeks before this, he’d never met a Christian and had never heard of Jesus outside of what the mosque told him in his homeland.
ISOC was just one of several summer teams happening in Munster, where over 50 local Irish Christians (from UCC, CIT, UL, DIT, UCD, TCD, QUB, UUJ and local churches) were inspired and equipped to be reaching out to all nations, including our fellow Irish. One of those who had attended the churches training day last summer, and has been involved in outreach ever since said:
“I want to thank IFES for all they’ve done in my life since last year’s summer team. I can’t believe I am where I am now, doing all these things and thinking completely differently”.
Another Christian helping the ISOC was a Brazilian student, here in Munster to study English for the summer, unaware of what she’d end up doing. Challenged by the presence of the café team and encouraged through studying the Scriptures with a team member each night, she started having her eyes opened to the mission field around her, and brought tens of other students from unreached nations:
‘God has brought me to Ireland, not to study English like I thought but to meet people from nations who don’t about Jesus so I can tell them’
But it was one of her fellow Brazilians who started responding well to Jesus’ words for the first time just a few weeks before, as the student finished studying through “Uncover” Luke’s gospel with an Irish student from CIT CU:
“I’ve never read anything like this before. It’s amazing. I was always really bored reading it, but now I really believe it. I’m going to find a church that teaches the Bible and a CU close to where I live in Brazil so that I can grow and find out more.”
And responses like that weren’t the only ones of the summer, as two local boys came to faith a week after the IFES Ireland/UBM beach outreach that many Irish students helped with, partnering with local churches in county Waterford.
Story after story could be told of the hundreds who requested an “Uncover” Luke’s gospel, or apologetic booklets this summer on those beaches, or of over 120 from 24 nations who were reached through the cafes in Cork. But may we turn and praise the God of the nations.