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“There weren’t enough chairs!”

Neus Grier, 28/10/21

Some CUs students have only ever met online. Some student leaders have never seen an in–person event. How would CU life on campus start?

“There weren’t enough chairs!”

Waterford IT CU have seen their numbers grow with several new students joining. This included two who became Christians through friends and online Christian resources during lockdown. It’s been encouraging for the CU getting to welcome these new believers into the mission team!

In Dundalk IT, their first CU meeting was, “a huge encouragement. They were not sure how many would be interested and really want to keep a CU going in this small and quite spiritually dark campus!” says Heidi, Associate Staff Worker. The number of students who turned up for their first meeting required extra chairs.

Coleraine CU has experienced an unprecedented appetite for CU events on their campus, with the newly re–launched missional small groups proving exceptionally popular.

Many students at the CU in NUIG Galway are international, yet there is an amazing unity across nationalities and ethnicities for the sake of student mission. In that joyful embodied gospel unity, there is still the reminder that they are dependent on God for strength and power as leading the CU in person has proved challenging. They have needed more organising and additional meeting spaces for evangelistic events than before.

University College Dublin and Dublin City University CUs have both been incredibly encouraged by the number of CU members showing up for prayer on campus. A joyful dependence on God is seen, trusting that God is in control of their campuses and that they can rely on him to sustain their studies and the mission that they are called to.

All the CUs in Dublin and separately in Belfast joined together in prayer for IFES World Student Day recently praying not just for the island of Ireland, but for students across the world.

Tiwani, Relay Worker in Cork says he sees Munster Technical University CU starting to create a strong community, united across very different backgrounds with a particular desire to serve and welcome Freshers.

Elin, Staff Worker for the University of Limerick, noted in particular the CU Committee’s desire to ensure every student in CU would understand the gospel of grace, focusing on dwelling on the gospel and what that means for us.

This grace which shapes individual lives also creates gospel communities. When that community unites in mission, we see transformation as the gospel impacts the campus. In Queen’s University Belfast this is exactly the case. They are delighted to be able to gather again, although have struggled to find meeting spaces big enough for the many hundreds of students who come every week. But this gospel–driven community has also driven them in going out –– planning and holding weekly events to engage with and get to know others around campus, sharing share their lives and Jesus with them.

Magee CU in Derry/Londonderry has had lots of new opportunities appearing on campus for the CU to engage with their university. They have begun a new Wednesday night campus outreach event which has been really successful. 

Luke, Staff Worker in Stranmillis shares: “Stranmillis CU has had the pleasure of meeting face–to–face again. While attendance has been superb, we rejoice particularly that one Stranmillis student giving his life to Jesus through an Uncover study!”

 

God has been answering your prayers for CUs and student mission beyond what we expected. As the new terms start, and despite adapting to ever–changing restrictions and ways of meeting, we have seen bigger CUs forming with more clarity about their vision and more boldness in mission. Pray this will result in many students coming to Christ this year.