I used to love Sundays: comfy sweats, curl up in a big chair to read and/or watch the Vikings win, maybe and snack through the day. Basically it was one final afternoon to be lazy and laid back.
Sundays for the Askers are completely different than that (especially the Vikings part…) But I still love it! Mid-afternoon, we crank up the crock pots. We set out 20+ bowls, dishes and glasses and get out the big Tupperware of silverware. We mix lemonade, heat hot water and get the napkins out. The basement gets cleared of toys and filled with chairs and card tables. About 6 the door starts swinging open, sans doorbell or knocking. For the next hour, 20 pairs of shoes fill our entryway.
For the first hour, we enjoy a meal that has been donated by local friends. Then we move into an hour-long session of top-notch teaching. We finish the night by dividing up into our teams of leaders to plan ahead.
I have the pleasure of getting small group leaders trained and ready to lead for the upcoming week during that final hour. Brian casts vision with the outreach and/or large group team.
Tonight we asked, “where have you been seeing God at work?” Here is what we heard:
From a freshman, new believer at UMD: “I invited a girl from my floor to come to the parade with us Friday night. Then the next night she ate dinner with us and watched a movie. This girl has some church background, but hasn’t been involved lately. She has been having a hard time making friends. I’m so glad I asked her to come hang out with us!”
From St. Scholastica students: “We have been having 2 small groups all semester, but last week we started to do a large group. Annie (freshman who was at our home too tonight) invited everyone she knew! I think most of them showed up and we had a blast! We’re planning to do a large group every other week now.”
From an upperclassman at UMD: “I broke down in class the other day. We have had a ton of group projects and my group has not been on the same page. I was talking with another girl in my group and she invited me to this ‘support group’ she attends. So I went and learned it was mainly based on faith in God! I am learning that God can use my weaknesses too. I am excited to keep going in my friendship with that classmate too.”
From a sophomore SGL at Scholastica: “We have 15 countries represented now in our group of friends (up from 13 just 2 weeks ago!). I spend a lot of time editing their papers and helping them with their English.”
From a long-time leader at UMD as he left tonight: “Thanks so much for what you are doing here on Sundays. I’m not sure you know how much it is impacting our chapter! Large group last week was packed – people are coming out of nowhere! We so appreciate it.”
I don’t know if we ever will know the impact of anything we do on earth, but as that leader shut the door I said out loud to myself, “Who wouldn’t love that?!”
And as we head into Thanksgiving this week, know we are grateful for all of you who make it possible for us to invest in these students and their campuses. Praise God for His plans and allowing us to be a part of them!