Jessie (right) is leading a small group of students through the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Every Wednesday night, between 15-30 students show up to the University of Cincinnati to study the Bible together and spend time building their relationships with one another. I have been attending as a participant, and it is wonderful to see our students’ leadership continue to develop and encouraging that so many of them are choosing to spend their summer break this way!
In my last update, I mentioned that the Croatia summer mission team had arrived in Zagreb for their five-week trip to share the Gospel with college students. Just like that, they are back home to the States! I am still waiting to hear all of the stories, but one of our staff members that was part of the mission, Liz, did a great job of documenting her time there:
“Family Meeting” as we’ve come to call it, is one of my favorite nights of the week. It’s sweet to worship together in English and hear how we are experiencing God before engaging with the culture around us all week.”
A lot of volleyball and ultimate frisbee happened among our group, our Croatian counterparts, and many of the students we’ve been meeting on campus. Such a fun and perfect summer evening!”
I got to go to Croatian church for the first time today and had the privilege of seeing several Croatians be baptized and hear their stories of how Jesus has changed their lives. It was…beautiful. I always say that for the hope of Jesus to mean anything, it has to be big enough to change the whole world AND intimate enough to change the people sitting around my dinner table. I felt like I got to see that dual reality of hope and life change today. Halfway around the world, believers sharing stories of how God met them each uniquely in seasons of darkness. It was humbling to get to be there, and I’m thankful that the Sunday I was able to attend happened to be the Sunday of my favorite church tradition…baptism.
On Thursday afternoons, I get to meet with Michelle [one of our NKU students] for time together talking about walking with God and then meeting Croatian students to gauge their spiritual interest. Getting to invest in the students and staff who came with us this summer has been a highlight for me. It’s sweet to hear the things they’re processing and stepping into that with them for a short season. I’ve also loved meeting Croatian students. They are so thoughtful and easy to talk to. We’ve had deep conversations, and had fun conversations, and have gotten just to make new friends.
There is so much more where that came from, and I can’t wait to continue to share it with you all! Even though I didn’t physically go to Croatia this summer, your partnership still makes these stories possible.
- Praise for fruitful conversations and God’s sovereignty in Croatia
- Praise for high summer attendance
- Prayers for all students during the rest of the summer – this can be a great time for some, and challenging for others.
To learn more or to partner with Chelsea Smith in ministry, please visit: https://thenalc.org/partners/chelsea-smith/