Quenching Thirst: Isaiah 55:1 and Skateboards
By Shane on in Blog with No Comments
“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! – Isaiah 55:1
I went to college at UC Irvine in Southern California. I transferred as a junior, and I remember my first morning on campus like it was yesterday.
I woke up early, grabbed my skateboard, and rode over to campus from my apartment. I was fresh from leaving my family and friends at home, and was feeling lonely and isolated.
As I rode down a hill towards the center of campus I heard someone shouting in the distance. I turned around and saw some old dude wearing a coat and tie, he was literally running towards me and yelling. I picked up my skateboard and asked him why he was upset.
He immediately grabbed my skateboard and told me I was not allowed to ride on campus.
Now, let me remind you that I was feeling lonely and my skateboard was my only friend. So don’t try and take it away from me.
I instinctively grabbed my skateboard back from this man with a suit and tie. I was thinking, “Don’t touch my skateboard amigo, it’s pretty much all I’ve got right now.”
He explained that skateboarding was not allowed, and that if he caught me again riding on campus he’d confiscate my board. I pled ignorance, as it was my first day, and that I’d of course abide by the rules. He then turned around and left.
I then got on my skateboard and continued on to the center of campus. 🙂
Just a few minutes later I met a new friend who invited me to a group on campus that was having a Bible study. Though I was nervous going to the first few Bible studies, I’m so glad I got involved in that group. It was there that I learned much more about God’s love for me. It turned out to be totally life changing.
I think of the previous year where I was never invited to a group like this. I spent an entire year on a college campus and never had an invitation to a Bible study, I didn’t meet anyone who invited me to church, nor did anyone take an interest in me on a spiritual level (except for the table of Mormons who were on campus each Thursday).
I was thirsty as a student. I think of God’s words in the book of Isaiah, “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free!”
Last month I was with friends and leaders with Cru. We spent time praying and asking God how we could reach out to students around the world. I kept thinking, “I was so thirsty as a student, and I had few offer me a drink until my 3rd year of college. God, I don’t want that to happen to any student anywhere. How can we show students how to quench their thirst?”
In Global Missions we are asking God to help us attempt to launch 551 student spiritual movements around the world this year. We are in cities all over the world where we are doing this. We have 70 one year Stint teams, we have summer missions that have recently returned and will be going back in May, we have international campus staff, and we have short term (7-12 day) teams going to these cities throughout the year. I think, I know, we can hit this number of 551.
Wait, so what’s a movement? It’s simple:
- A movement is a group of students on a campus who want to point their peers to the reality of Jesus.
- A movement is at least 5 students or professors and a leader (who is most likely a student).
- A movement is a group of students who desire to help others come to know God, grow in a relationship with him, and help others know him as well.
Imagine students going global and attempting to launch these spiritual movements 551 times this year?! How many more students will hear about Gods personal love for them as a result? How many more lives will be changed through Jesus? Call me crazy, but I bet quite a bit.
A key word here is attempt. By the end of next summer we want to have tried 551 times to launch a spiritual movement on universities around the world. I think God will bless those types faith steps, why wouldn’t He?
Last year I was at the University of Puerto Rico doing spiritual interest surveys with some friends. I remember talking with a girl, a senior, and asking if she knew of another Christian group on campus I could speak to. Her answer was, “Um, no, I don’t think so. But I think I remember a spiritual group or church or something that came for a parade around Easter.”
How many students around the world answer like that? Way too many.
Will you join me and pray that God will help us as we attempt to launch 551 new student movements on universities around the world this year? If you are overseas how can you and your team help us move forward in this?
College was a time of great spiritual growth for me. I’m grateful for whoever attempted to launch that spiritual movement I was a part of at UC Irvine. I’m also grateful for my skateboard that got me there……