Hi there, my name is Mikka and I have had the privilege of being in post as a Student Work Co-ordinator (+ other roles) at Redeemer Church for a year now. I just wanted to take this opportunity to reflect and share what’s gone on amongst us particularly in the student world over the last year, to thank God for all he has done before launching headlong into 2019/20!
Three things in particular that have struck and surprised me during this last year:
1. Our students love Jesus and love to share him with their unbelieving friends - this is what you dream of as a student worker! I’ve been encouraged and challenged by their boldness in taking opportunities that I didn’t at University – just stepping out as they hear God call, as they spot an opening in a conversation with a friend, opening the Bible with their course friends, inviting friends to church (and not just to the Christmas service!) and not just going it alone but doing it together as a team. It’s been a fruitful year in terms of all sorts of students coming through our doors and some being added to us because our students have shared Jesus with their friends. I pray this culture continues to grow amongst us, that boldness and faith to see God do amazing things through our young people on campus and in every area of life, would rise.
2. They’re adventurous and willing to serve – in so many different ways, each week on serving teams at church and on the Christian Union (CU) committee but over the summer we also got to send some of our best to serve at other church events within our family of churches, Relational Mission (RM) in Frankfurt, Germany and Gouda, the Netherlands. We were delighted to send them so confidently, knowing they would be great and real blessing to those receiving them.
3. They do community well and have a lot of fun whilst they’re at it – admittedly most students have more unscheduled time on their hands but how they choose to spend it now they’ve got free reign is important. I love that they spend time eating together, building quality relationships where they can encourage and challenge one another and look out for each other/ new people. This says a lot when they’ve grown up in a world dominated by technology, where loneliness is rife and it’s easier to look out for number 1 rather than bothering with others.
We love having students as a part of our church family – they’re a valuable part of the church being built here in Colchester. They bring energy and enthusiasm that’s contagious; the mixing in with families in the church is wonderful where both students and families help and learn from each other. This sort of culture takes effort, prayer and patience but it’s so worthwhile – we want to make sure we maintain and build on this for all those who will be a part of our church family in months and years ahead!
I’m so proud of our students – for who they are and all their efforts, big and small. I’m so looking forward to seeing what this year will be like - we’ve sent on some champions to their new jobs, placement years and years abroad; we’re eagerly awaiting the return of those who have been away for the past year as well as those who have been gone over the summer; plus, any new additions that we get to welcome to Redeemer – first, second, third or fourth year; Masters or PhD; for a term, a year, two years or three; we are thrilled to have you amongst us and can’t wait to be a part of your story. Roll on Freshers week!