So a while back we asked if you had any questions for us, we got a great response from all of you. Here is the first of many answers. Enjoy!
Hey! We are going to start making Q&A videos for our supporters! So send us questions, either by commenting here, by email, text, skype, twitter, facebook… however you feel like asking! We will gather the questions and then make a video! Woohoo! Ask about Sojourn, New England, life in general, whatever!
Hello! Hopefully most of you got our latest newsletter… if not, and you would like to, please shoot us an email and we will add you to the list!
Life in Providence has been pretty great! Students are finishing school so Sojourn has been slowing down. But wow, what a semester it has been! When I think about the fact that a little less than a year ago, I was out here visiting New England for the first time EVER to see if we wanted to take the plunge and move, my mind is blown! God has shown us how big He is and how He really doesn’t need us for anything… But He chooses to use us, which is just incredible.
Here is a list of some things you could join us in prayer over:
- Pray for students as they go back home, graduate and move on, or start summer school.
- Pray for the Providence home group that we have just started at Northpointe. Pray that it will be a place where students can come to find community and explore Christianity.
- Pray for me as I struggle with really nasty allergies. :(. I already have to wipe noses all day at work, having to blow my own every 10 seconds just makes things difficult!
- Pray for Northpointe’s Unleashed event in June. Click the link to learn more. It’s going to be awesome.
- Pray for me as I attempt to build relationships at my new job.
- Pray for our finances and fundraising efforts this summer. That we will find willing supporters and reach our fundraising goals!
- Pray for guidance for Sojourn over this summer and as plans are made for next semester.
Thank you for partnering with us! Please let us know if you need anything or have anything we could be praying for you about.
Three week ago, we started meeting with 4 students in the Providence area. All of them are from different schools, are different ages, and are in different stages in their walks with Christ. But they all want something more for their campuses. We are working through the book One.Life by Scot McKnight, which talks about how we only have one life and we need to make sure we are doing all we can to be part of God’s Kingdom. I think this gives these students something to chew on, since they are in school to start a career. They can begin to ask themselves, “how can I use this career to help usher in the Kingdom on earth?” It could be from choosing a job where you are directly helping those who need it the most or deciding to live in a place that you will be able to reach out to your neighbors. We also want them to be thinking about how they can be ushering in the kingdom on campus while they are still at school. God is doing some awesome things with the girls that are in this group (we are hoping for some guys to be part of it soon too) and I can’t want to see what they do on their campuses.
That has been a big focus of our energy this month. Mainly working with those four students, working toward becoming an established group on Bryant, meeting with other students here and there… not too bad for ministry planting in New England! But then, God decided to show us what He can do …… and He is awesome! And He knows how to humble us.
Tyler went to meet with a student from University of RI who also goes to one of our partner churches and was interested in what Sojourn is all about. URI is about 40 minutes away… in a state that is only about an hour across in any direction… keep that in mind. During the meeting, Tyler let the guy know that we didn’t know really how much we could be involved on his campus right now, we had lots we were working on and with in the Providence area and didn’t want to get spread too thin. Tyler didn’t want to totally shut him down so he told him to talk to his friends and other people and see if he could come up with some students that would be interested in starting a weekly group, not thinking much would come of it. Then he gets an email later that night from the URI student with five names of students who are interested. The next day Tyler got another email with four more names. Ok, well… maybe God is doing something at URI!! We met with eight students the first week and talked about what this group could look like, what they wanted from the group, and what we do. They were all still excited so we set a time to meet weekly, and planned a fun get-to-know-everyone meeting for the next week. We also knew a couple that went to school in Rolla and was now doing graduate work at URI so we asked them to join us. They are in too!
This past Tuesday we went Duck Pin Bowling with the group from URI. There were seven students there and they all had a great time. It was really good to build relationships over a fun activity before we dive into the nitty gritty. They said that they were going to be sure to tell the others who weren’t able to make it how much they missed out; which is always good to hear that students are going to tell others what a good time it was.
I am excited to see where God leads us with this group at URI as well as the awesome work He is doing in Providence. Thank you for being apart of this with us… hopefully you can see that you are making a difference in the lives of students in Rhode Island!!
Nick and Haley
So Prov is great!!! But there are some BIG and small things/decisions coming up that we would love to have saturated in prayer.
1. We are having a Sojourn info meeting at the church this Sunday. We want to give anyone who is interested an opportunity to hear our vision and plans for the future of students in Providence. We also want the church to be a part of what we are doing, so we are going to let people know ways they can volunteer and help out.
2. We are looking into moving! Still in Providence but closer to students. Right now, we are in a location between the colleges and the church, but not super close to either. Over the past 4 months, we have figured out that not many of the students here have cars and if they do, they don’t like to drive very far (1-5miles max). When we try to be friendly and invite students over to our home, we have found that it’s more of a hassle than a help. We also know lots of students in the Downtown area, but don’t have anywhere in that area to hang out. Therefore, Haley and I are looking at moving within walking distance of Brown and RISD. This is super exciting, but there are a few things that have to happen before we can do that. First, we need someone to take over our lease. We are going to be putting it on Craig’s List, and hopefully, since its a great place, we will find someone without much of an issue. Second, we have to find a place to live at a reasonable price, which is not exactly easy. However, we have a few that we are interested in! The biggest issue is going to be trying to coordinate the time we move out of our current home and into the new place. We are counting on God’s perfect timing for this to happen!!
3. We have about 6 students that we are going to start meeting with and going through a leadership training/study. One of the issues with this is, once again, location, since each student is from a different university. We are trying to figure out what this going to look like but are excited about the student leaders that God has blessed us with.
4. The Polar Bear Plunge is just around the corner!!!! We are putting a lot into this event so we pray that is is a great opportunity to begin/build relationships with students. Great news on that front though: We are partnering with a volunteer organization from Bryant University. They are excited about being part of this event.
5. One more big thing …. We are beginning on working through the processes of becoming a registered organization on Bryant University. There is a lot to do for this to happen but we have an excited student heading up the charge. We are hoping from the Plunge, we find some more students that would be interested in being apart of a group like Sojourn.
A lot is happening in Providence and we wouldn’t be here without your help! Thank you! I hope you are as excited about what God is doing in Rhode Island as we are.
We are reading a book right now, Campus Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture by Stephen Lutz, and it talks about how people can be some what categorized, m0 to m4, depending on their feeling of christianity. Mo would be those who have a relationship and are telling others, m2 would be those who are indifferent or don’t know, and m4 are those who are completely against Christ. From this categorization, it then talks about how most ministries are good a getting the m0 and some m1 together and for a fellowship meeting but fail at reach the other 80-90% of students(m1-m4).
We want to be sure that we are trying to reach those that aren’t reached by traditional ministry approaches. Right now, we are trying to work out how exactly that looks. We want to meet students where they are at and build a relationship with them while living out Christ in our lives. We want to our events and meetings to be things students feel like they can invite their friends to, without sacrificing our mission to the Gospel.
When Christians are living like Jesus, they will rub shoulders with non-believers. If we are living like Jesus, we will be lights to those who feel trapped by the darkness. We want to live like Christ so our students live like Christ and be Christ to their friends and classmates.