Freshmen students will be arriving on campus today. Most of them feeling more lonely, insecure and scared than they ever have before. They are desperately searching for acceptance and security and that will lead many of them down a very dangerous road. They will be vulnerable to peer pressure as they experience freedoms they haven’t before and they will be encouraged by nearly everyone on campus to live a very self-destructive lifestyle. Over 80% of incoming Christian students will walk away from God this year. The American College Health Association reports almost 50% of college students will be so depressed during college they will be unable to function and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among these students. In a recent survey done by MTV, 80% of college students said they felt stressed out and 42% felt lonely (time and time again loneliness is listed as the biggest student issue). Alcohol, drug and sexual experimentation are further symptoms of a generation that needs Jesus!
We believe a lie when we believe these students are happy just the way they are - the truth is that they are desperately hungry for our Savior and He is their (and our) only hope. That is why we do what we do.
Steve Shadrach calls students the powerful percent. He tells us, in his book "The fuel and the flame," that college students have long led the charge in world evangelization. Ludwig Von Zinzendorf, who lived in the 1700s, began "The Moravians," one of the most effective mission agencies of that era. The Moravians are the ones who reached John Wesley for Christ. John Wesley and the Moravians impacted William Carey, the "Father of the modern missionary movement." Carey's book and example inspired the "haystack five" and the "Society of the Brethren" mission agency. They set the foundation for Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission, C.T. Studd and the "Cambridge Seven" and numerous other worldwide ministries and revivals begun on college campuses. Shadrach ties all these stories together, reminding us of all college ministries and students have spearheaded in the last few decades and the impact they're having for Jesus today. If we can reach this powerful percent for Christ we can reach the world.
Today is a HUGE day. Today is our 1st chance to meet all these new students. So much is on the line today, tomorrow and the next 3 weeks. We always say we have a 3 week window. Pray for us over the coming days and weeks, that God would use us to meet and connect with these students and to share Jesus with them. If you live in a college town do anything you can to reach them. We'll keep you posted on all that happens as the week unfolds!