I need to remember, we prayed for this!
If you’re anything like me, then all too often, I need to be reminded that God is in the business of answering our prayers. Somehow, in the midst of our busyness and the world’s distractions, we can forget that He is working. Two weeks ago, I received the following message from Tim Rice.
“Just wrapped up a new member's meeting. SWARMED by CO students peppering me with questions. I need to remember that we’ve prayed for this!”
If you are newer to Trinity, you might not be aware that in 2018 we were part of a team of Campus Outreach (CO) staff that arrived in Lakeland to join Trinity in reaching college students in the county and across the region. Campus Outreach is a church-based college ministry whose mission is to “Glorify God by Building Laborers on the Campus for the Lost World.” We believe in the incredible potential of investing in the college campus because we recognize that today’s college students will be tomorrow’s leaders. And our hope is that many of these leaders will graduate with the vision and training to labor in Lakeland, across central Florida and around the world.
For the last 3 years, our staff has been faithfully building relationships, sharing the Gospel, and discipling these young men and women. All the while, we have been praying to the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers (Matthew 9:35-38). As many of you know, the college campus is filled with many students who are harassed and helpless.
This vision has certainly involved its fair share of challenges. As you can imagine, a global pandemic was not in our 5-year strategic plan. The momentum we spent 18 months building came to a crashing halt when our students were sent home in the spring of 2020. However, our team adapted and has demonstrated incredible resilience as they’ve navigated Covid’s impact on the college campus.
Despite the challenges, the Lord has been faithful to our team and the work we are engaged in. We have seen many students profess faith in Christ and dozens of lives radically transformed. We recently hired three new staff (two of whom came to faith on our campuses) to join our team and we are in the process of equipping 25 student leaders who have a desire to reach their friends, classmates and teammates on their campuses.
If you’ve recently attended the 2nd service at Trinity, then you’ve probably noticed the buzz of college students who are filling the pews. This has been a joy to witness and the answer to so many prayers. The influx of college students at Trinity has also presented some new opportunities for the congregation to partner with us. We are incredibly grateful for those who have already invested in the work we are doing. So much of where we are today is a result of the Campus Outreach Board, the leadership at Trinity and many of you who have prayed, given or thrown in with us. If you have an interest in learning more about CO, have a heart for college students, or want to be involved, we’d invite you to fill out the brief survey (click here).
A recent CO vision meeting with our student leaders.
These 3 are joining the CO staff team.
(From left to right...Maddie Jurado, Jake McLaughlin, Craig Nagle)