"CICCU Events week, called ‘Tomorrow – Life in Longing’, revolved around the concerns we all have for the future, the desire to be better, to have security, to know – and the hope we have as Christians for the future. Praise the Lord for a good week of talks during lunch time and in the evening, as well as three international dinners on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
We had about 40 students at our first international dinner with momentum building over the next two dinners as Friday night ended with about 100 students. Each evening consisted not simply of a warm meal and good fellowship, but also a short talk introducing a question or issue in life that the Bible answers, before a 15 minute interview with an international Christian. We had a young woman who had converted from Islam, a well respected teacher from the University who shared how God challenged her to find identity in him, not in work, and a Nigerian pastor with a bounty on his head from Boko Haram who spoke of why he continues to live for Christ in an exceedingly difficult situation.
Please pray for the Holy Spirit to plant the Word deep into the lives of those who came and for a few students who seemed to move significantly forward in their search for God."
— Josh Bell
"Edinburgh CUs city-wide events week took place last week and I had the opportunity to give three gospel talks from Mark's gospel.
Give thanks for the many students who came to hear these talks, and for the opportunity to present the gospel to young adults from so many nations.
Many stayed behind to ask questions after each talk. One chap from India said he'd never understood that Jesus had come to forgive sins. Somone from California said that Christianity might provide him with direction. A Polish girl said she'd never heard a talk like that. Some Chinese girls found a story about a Chinese conversion particularly moving.
I heard today that at least one international student became a Christian on the Friday evening. Please pray for continued follow-up and responses to be made in the coming weeks or months."
— Douglas Humphris
Peter Teagle is the Head of Events Speaking at Friends International. In February 2019, he and others from the team will be speaking at universities across the country.
"As I write we have just finished the second of two training overnighters (Oxford and Glasgow) seeking to equip speakers for, among other things, international student tracks at university events weeks.
The need and appetite for such learning groups reflect a growing vision amongst CUs (Christian Unions) to hold international talks at their events weeks.
As I prepare to speak at Leeds and Southampton this time around, I am excited once more about the opportunities and importance of such talks. But what is my reason for promoting them? Simply this: international student talks are NOT the 'English-made-easy' version of the 'main' talks, rather they are an opportunity to address the different worldviews, presuppositions, apologetic questions and heart-issues that (particularly) non-western students have, and to do so in an accessible, understandable, culturally sensitive way.
"...international student talks are NOT the 'English-made-easy' version of the 'main' talks..."
After a talk I did some while ago, a Christian worker told me that she had been watching a Chinese poatgrad texting his friend through the earlier part of my message. "Hoping this won't take too long, I will get out of this event as soon as I can". Then, as he began to see how the talk spoke directly into his values as a Chinese person, texted: "Wait, this is for me," and put his phone away and stayed.
I say this not to boast, but to share what my vision for international talks are for: to resonate in such a way that students from cultures very different from our own can say, this is for me!"
— Peter Teagle, Head of Events Speaking.
Upcoming CU Events Weeks with International Student Talks:
London city-wide CU Mission Week: 28th-31st Jan
Birmingham Mission Week: 28th-31st Jan
Leeds Mission Week: 4th-8th Feb (Peter Teagle speaking)
Southampton Mission Week: 11th-15th Feb (Peter Teagle speaking)
Manchester city-wide Mission Week: 11th-15th Feb (Graham Stockton speaking)
Canterbury city-wide Mission Week: 18th-22nd Feb
Liverpool Mission Week: 18th-22nd Feb (Graham Stockton speaking)
Lancaster Mission Week: 26th Feb-2nd March (Tom Hudson speaking)