Raising a generation of young missionary disciples for Jesus Christ

Campus ministry is tough work. All the tougher to start a campus ministry from ground zero during these extraordinary times affected by COVID.

Apr 10, 2021

The students come together for an Easter Hospitality training with KUBM youth.

By Deacon Adrian Ng

Campus ministry is tough work. All the tougher to start a campus ministry from ground zero during these extraordinary times affected by COVID. Over the Advent-Christmas holidays, Joseph Daraser, a student at the University of Cyberjaya, who had been working in a bookstore, noticed that some of the customers were Christians. He got their contact information and invited those from the same apartment for Christmas. But after this first gathering, he and a few other students went back to East Malaysia as Malaysia went through another lockdown.

Chinese New Year was a good excuse to re-gather the students at Eagle’s Nest Ville, Cyberjaya. Inter-district travel had loosened and the Christian students started to gather, regardless of denomination. Having not gathered for worship for a year, this small Christian fellowship of the University of Cyberjaya and Unikop students kept adding to their numbers. One  time, while we were singing, a knock on the door startled us. We nervously opened the door, halfexpecting it to be the management, come to warn us about SOP infringement. “Is this a Christian gathering?” the young man at the door asked. “Can I join you?” We were so relieved yet amazed at how the Lord was drawing more students to join us.

Our weekend gathering is guided by the 4Ws: Welcome, Worship, Word and Wallop. Exercising our Eucharistic identity, everyone starts by sharing something they are grateful about. After that, we have an icebreaker and a few songs of praise. We listen to that weekend’s Gospel, then we turn to a friend beside us to share what God is saying to us through that passage. This is followed by Prayers of the Faithful. Finally, we eat a meal prepared by the students.

From this gathering, we build relationships with students and invite them to go deeper in their  relationship with God through our online Bible Study. Currently we are studying the Theology of the Body: the Meaning of Life & Love. We have two groups for the  English session, one for the  Bahasa session and one for the Mandarin session. Each group has about six students led by a couple. The attendance has varied but the sharings have been robust. A shout-out to my amazing team from Kuching, Klang and KL that meets me online to prepare for this study every Friday 8.00pm and Saturday 7.00am - yes, that early!

Mid-semester breaks and holidays are invaluable opportunities to strengthen friendships and deepen formations. Going on an outing is also a chance to invite Christian friends who may feel  awkward about joining a religious group. From March 21 – 28, seven of the students from the University of Cyberjaya and Unikop were on break. We went to Berjaya Times Square, KLCC, Petaling Street, Gabai Waterfalls etc. We arranged  Bible Studies before each outing; Why do I believe in Jesus and What is the difference between the Catholic and Protestant Churches and answered questions that arose from conversations on these day trips. It was the first time since they arrived in October 2020 to explore Kuala Lumpur and they truly appreciated the expense-free holiday. They also said that they learnt a lot from the bible studies.

Easter was a good opportunity to invite the students back to Sunday Worship. The protocols required a bit of preparation from all the students, but it was very meaningful when they all came for the greatest feast of all Christians, and stayed for the training at Fr Leo’s Centre, “To Build a Culture of Hospitality”. Jointly organised with KUBM Youth, several young people joined our inaugural event including new friends we met just that morning! Our icebreaker was  to go up to a stranger in the room and strike up a conversation. We role- played how they would greet strangers and build relationships. I taught them the acronym for small-talk: FORM. F is for family and friends; O is for Occupation and studies; R is for Recreational interests; and M is for the message or invitation we want to deliver.

We also heard a personal testimony of conversion, which we hope will encourage the students to share their faith stories with others.

The students had a great time and we signed up new volunteers to serve on the Hospitality Team and to join future Bible Studies!

But being friendly and joyful evangelisers is the duty of ALL the Easter people. As Romans 15:7 says “Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God”.

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