This year’s University Training, on the subject of ‘The Gospel’, was an opportunity to be built together in the Lord with students from universities from all over the world. The universities represented during this time were: University of Aberdeen, Cardiff University, City University London, University of Essex, University of Glasgow, Kingston University, University College London (UCL), University of Surrey, University of Warwick, University College Dublin, Technical University of Delft, Stuttgart University, Warsaw School of Economics, Seoul National University, and New York University. In addition, we were joined by brothers and sisters from Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield.
“I really appreciated being here with so many students. In this training the Lord renewed my vision. Now I present myself again. I really want to be one who ushers the Lord’s coming back. Lord, make me one who preaches the gospel so You can come back.“
The University Training took place in the middle of August and lasted for one week, from Monday to Lord’s day. Every day began with waking up early in the morning to start the day with morning revival fellowship. This was a time for us to learn how we could have an effective time with the Lord in the morning, and then we put it into practice!
“I’ve been really enjoying the different ways to really enjoy the Lord in the morning, like walking around or pray-reading. I’m thinking of my friend who lives just across the road – I can ask him to walk around the road and read the Bible and to call on the Lord’s name with me. I’ve learnt so many ways by which I can actually touch the Lord in the morning. I can do all this on my campus in October.”
After personal morning revival, we would have our breakfast. We ate all of our meals together with the full-time trainees, often singing and praying beforehand. We also enjoyed the same atmosphere when serving together during the meal prep and clean-up times.
After breakfast we had messages along the line of ‘The Gospel’. The messages included: ‘The Gospel of the Kingdom’, ‘The Gospel of the Grace of God’, ‘The Structure of the Gospel of God’, ‘Paul’s Gospel – the Gospel of Completion’, and ‘The Highest Point of the Gospel’.
“I don’t like speaking to people, but I realised that we have a commission. This is the highest gospel. Every time we speak to people we need to give them the highest gospel. We shouldn’t be short with them; we shouldn’t cheat them from knowing God’s economy. In the classes I realised that this has a lot to do with our heart, with our inner being, and confessing. One thing we can confess is our fruitlessness, our lack of love for men, and even our not loving the Lord enough to care for what He desires. I realised I really need to change my view of the gospel and to take every opportunity to preach the gospel.”
We also had some time to spend in small groups, which were wonderful opportunities to fellowship with students from other localities, go through the messages, pray, and share what we enjoyed. Afterwards, we had lunch and a well-deserved rest. Some of us would choose to walk around the grounds in search of rabbits or to take advantage of the lovely weather, while the rest could be found inside memorising their Bible verses in hope of acing the challenge awaiting at the end of the training.
In the afternoon we had two messages, followed by dinner and then the last message of the day. Some of these messages were very helpful in preparing us for the upcoming Freshers’ Weeks at our universities, giving us practical tips on contacting people and speaking to them at Bible distribution tables, and sharing the gospel with our families and those close to us.
“I really enjoyed the brother sharing about writing down the names of our friends and family. I also enjoyed Matthew 24:14, ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations and then the end will come.’ When the end comes, our friends might ask us, ‘Why didn’t you preach the gospel to me?’
“My mum always gives out gospel tracts on the train or on the bus. My brother and I once told her not to do it, but she quoted Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes”. One person rejected a tract, but the person sitting next to her asked for it and was reading it.”
On Saturday afternoon we had the opportunity to go to the nearby town centre to put into practice what we had been learning. It was very enjoyable to sing and to give out gospel tracts and Bibles. When we came back, we shared with one another our experience of speaking to people.
“I found the gospel time very enjoyable. We had a lot of rejections but whenever I walked back to the table, I saw the sisters’ smiling faces! It is encouraging to speak to people. I used to be very bold to speak the gospel, but I was exposed that I haven’t preached the gospel for about two years. Like others shared, I really enjoyed this time. I’m looking forward to Freshers’ Week!“
On the last evening we had an overflow meeting, during we each shared our top enjoyment from the week and the things which the Lord had shined on during this time. We also prayed, sang, and ate lots of ice cream and cake!
“At the start of this week, I didn’t really know what to expect. I saw that I was staying at the campsite and that our shuttle would be at 6:10 in the morning… But after a week of being here, I can just say that this training has given me food for the next year. It’s given me a supply and I am so happy.”