At the end of September I had the opportunity to go on an encouragement visit to my friend Farrann (pictured on left) who lives in Memphis. I’ve known Farrann for 4 1/2 years. We first met on a trip to China in 2013 where we served together as English camp teachers at an orphanage. Farrann and her roommate Kelsey (pictured in middle) both work for Campus Outreach based near the University of Memphis campus. Her other roommate Kayla (right) is a grad student at the university. They made me feel welcome in many ways and I felt like I was staying with three daughters! (Hopefully I made them feel a little bit like they had a somewhat cool mom with them for a few days.)
The staff for Campus Outreach must raise support money to work for the organization. Many people are surprised to hear that many ministry organizations whose outreach is within the US borders require their staff to raise full time support. Most people only believe this be true of global mission ministry staff. It is often more difficult for stateside ministry staff to raise support than global staff. Apparently the home mission field seems less glamorous than a foreign mission field. My question to you is, “Have you been outside of the four walls of your home recently?” It’s clear to me that people in America need Jesus as much as people living in other nations. Though as believers we’ve all been given the great commandment and thus should be reaching our neighbors, it’s quite evident we aren’t doing this in America. Therefore one could then argue that these ministries in the US need our support to do the work we as individuals are not doing. Really, as the Disney song goes, “We’re all in this together,” and should all be doing what we’re called to do, individually and corporately!
While visiting Farrann I attended a Campus Outreach Lifetime Labors Summit Conference for college students, most of whom were Juniors and Seniors. The purpose of the summit was to help these students see the potential of how God could use them to make a lifetime impact for the Kingdom & help equip them with resources for after college. I was thoroughly impressed with the staff of Campus Outreach and their heart for discipleship of these students. Leader after leader shared their personal stories of how they became involved in this campus ministry as students and the impact it had on their lives. They shared pictures of past small groups linking students in groups today to those in the past just through the interwoven stories and testimonies of dedication to God’s Word and discipleship of the next generation. Oh how I wish I had this when I was in college! If you’d like to know more about Campus Outreach in Memphis specifically, visit their website. I highly encourage you to consider financially supporting one or more of their staff on a monthly basis. They are doing great work with the next generation that will make an impact for the Lord!
While God did have fun with me this time – think my fear of big bugs, visiting the South and flying cock roaches – He also showed me so much. Being with connected to a college ministry allowed me to look back over the last 30 years since I graduated college to see all the amazing things God has done in my life. I was reminded of where I was, what I’ve experienced and that in everything, God was there working, leading, sometimes pushing or pulling, taking me to the next step. What a privilege it is to live life with Him. To know Him. To be loved unconditionally by Him. To be forgiven by Him. God is good all the time. All the time God is good!