COLOGNE, Germany (BP)–Is this a great idea or what? Get 75 Christian students excited about their faith and give them some tips on how to witness.
Then turn them loose on a city like Cologne, Germany, filled with lost people!
Great, so how many people got saved?
Well, it wasn’t like that. No goals were set nor numbers written on a blackboard before the students hit the streets.
Rather, the motto was “obedience over activity.”
“It’s not about how many people you talk to or how many get saved -– it’s about obeying God,” said a Southern Baptist missionary who has worked in Cologne for years.
He and other leaders urged the students -– participants in M-Fuge International — to develop meaningful relationships in order to share their faith.
When, for example, some of the female M-Fugers were left on their own so that the male students could venture off to play soccer, the females met some Muslim girls from North Africa and spent all afternoon talking and painting fingernails.
By the end of the visit, it seemed perfectly normal for the Americans to present their new friends with Bibles as gifts. The North African girls said they would gladly take them home to their country, where Bibles are in scarce supply.
A missionary who addressed the students likened praying to plowing a field. He told of watching a German farmer plow a field not once but seven times, using a different plow each time. By the final pass, the soil was no longer in huge clods, but had become fine soil ready to receive seeds for planting.
“Ask God to give you eyes like Jesus, so when you look at a university campus or park, you see them as Jesus would see them,” the missionary counseled the M-Fugers. “Pray for Holy Spirit ears. Be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that when He says go do this thing, you go do it immediately. If you learn that lesson the first day, you’ll be the most radical Christian I know….
“Focus on God’s promises, not problems you see,” he said. “If you are obedient and pray for significant amounts of time, it will change your lives.”
Just because a student witnesses to a Muslim and sees no response, don’t assume there has been no response, he said.
“Most Muslims accept the Gospel only after hearing the Gospel seven to 10 times, and then only after a miracle or a dream,” the missionary said. He told of one Muslim girl who heard the Gospel presented eight times, then had a dream in which Jesus was dressed in black, a fact that was very significant in her life. The next day she went looking for a local believer to let him know she was ready to follow Christ.
M-Fuge leaders gave the students instructions in how to prayer-walk, then sent the students out early in the week to actively pray for communities and the people they saw.
Abbey Cripe, 18, and Mandy Moench, 16, prayer-walked around a city park where people walked and played soccer. To a casual onlooker they appeared to be talking to each other, but they were actually talking to God. Cripe is a member of New Covenant Community Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Tavares, Fla. Moench is the daughter of Southern Baptist missionaries in Western Europe.
The students received hours of helps on how to prepare for sharing their faith and moving beyond that to make disciples. By the week’s end, the students and leaders were reporting amazing results.
At a park near Cologne, several students went out to kick a soccer ball around and ended up talking at length with a German man and a Chinese man, while Allison Aycock, 17, a member of First Baptist Church in Justin, Texas, was able to talk for almost two hours with a girl from Russia.
Kentucky Baptist Marty Logsdon, his son, Andrew, and Marty Dunning felt led to ride a city bus. They sat in the back of the bus and sang and prayed. A number of people moved closer to hear them and eventually they were able to talk at length with two Muslim men.
Youth leader Jo Ann Willis of Florida told of talking with a woman in a shopping center as the woman decorated faces. The woman wanted to practice English so they wound up talking for two hours. “God super-exceeded my expectations,” said Willis, a member of Zion Christian Church in Palm Bay, Fla., who brought 19 students and leaders to M-Fuge.