Freshers week and all of its fun and folly mark the lives of most students arriving at Uni this month. Late nights. Meeting friends for coffee. Exploring a new city. Deep and meaningful conversation. Experiences that make one’s heart skip a beat.
Our students’ experience things a little differently. They may spend September exploring their new town, but some are also adjusting to a new church or youth project, meeting new families, building relationships with teenagers, and (gulp!) learning how to work with a line manager.
They have late nights out, but it often involves delivering a bunch of giggling fourteen-year-olds safely back to their families after an all-day youth festival. They go out for coffee a lot, but it’s often with that sixteen year old who is bowing under the pressure of upcoming exams.
They have lots of deep and meaningful conversations, but it’s often with young people who are trying to make sense of the God of the Bible in this secular age.
Our students know how to have fun. Activities abound, but they are charged with keeping everyone safe and the responsibility runs deep.
Love is not elusive, but it’s a love of a different kind as our students begin to care deeply for the young people they minister to. Instead of dealing with heart–break in their first month of Uni, they are often dealing with being broken over the deep need in their town – needs that only Jesus can fulfil.
Taking a different route
This lot of students are unassuming and courageous. They are passionate and bold. They are fun and life-giving. Each one could have had a normal university experience, but they have taken a different route that allows them to serve young people and the church full- time.
These students are our heroes.
Sometimes taking the road less travelled is lonely and you are all too aware of what you have given up or left behind. If you know or support a student with Reign Ministries, encourage them today. Let them know that you see them and the sacrifice they are making. Then pray for their youth ministry and degree studies. Also, cake is nice.
If you want to learn more about becoming a non-traditional student and serving young people in your church while earning a qualification, visit our degree page for more information.
Joy has 20 years youth ministry experience and serves as the Development Director for Reign Ministries.
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