“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this: that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:3-11
This is the passage that our campus Bible studies discussed this week. There is so much I could write about now that I have completed about five weeks of ministry here in Cincinnati. It is evident that Jesus is at work in the lives of students here who are already involved and those whom we have yet to meet.
“I’ve been wanting to find a Bible study, but I didn’t know how.”
“I told my mom about this, and she is so excited for me.”
These are just a few excerpts from a conversation that I got to have with first-year student Mariam during a follow-up meeting after she had filled out a survey and indicated she was interested in learning more about Cru. Those three days we were on campus doing surveys were so cold, rainy, and tiring; discouraging at times even, but I tried to keep in mind the attitude that if we even affected one person’s life, it would be worth it. Mariam is coming to the Bible study that I help two of my disciples lead, and it brings so much joy! Luckily, Mariam wasn’t the only one to get involved. There are plenty more stories where that came from, across our various men’s and women’s ministries at UC and NKU!
Winter Conference Update
As you may know, the conference was virtual this year rather than us traveling to Indianapolis. There are typically multiple different Winter Conference locations across the US, but this year we were all together on a platform called Socio (about 7000 people)! I was very impressed with how well the conference was done, despite it being virtual. It was so fun to see students and staff interacting over the chat feature, the production and speakers were phenomenal, and the planning team found so many ways to make this a fun and meaningful time. On Friday night, our UC and NKU students got together and had some watch parties in their own homes, and on Saturday night, we were able to throw them a group watch party at my new church, Christ the King.
The Winter Conference participants were challenged to have Gospel conversations with three people in their lives this week and next; so, on Friday the 19th, we will be having a worship and celebration night to share any stories they have about steps of faith they took to do this. I’m looking forward to heading up worship with the help of a few student leaders!
Besides these special events, in an average week, we have at least one Bible study running every night studying Philippians, we have Action Group (discipleship of student leaders) on Wednesdays where we are studying Acts and the book “Be the Bridge” which discusses racial reconciliation, and our monthly connect, where this month our speaker Liz shared about how our beliefs and actions align with one another.
In regards to my personal life, as I mentioned, I’m attending a new church called Christ the King (CTK). I really enjoy it and the challenge each sermon brings! I’m also in a City Group with CTK on Thursday nights where we discuss that week’s sermon and spend time in community, and I recently made the worship team. I’ve been enjoying exploring the city in my free time by finding new coffee shops, hiking, or visiting attractions, and I’ve had a couple of visitors!
- For the faith conversations happening this week in regards to the Winter Conference outreach
- Continued motivation and joy for students living in this Covid/college situation
To learn more or to partner with Chelsea Smith in ministry, please visit: https://thenalc.org/partners/chelsea-smith/