Community and desserts!
By Sean Wood and Kenzie Stromatt
Laura, an international student from East Asia currently studying in London, only made the decision to start following Jesus on 6 February this year despite having never met any Christians during her time in London. A few weeks ago, she was scrolling through Instagram when she suddenly came across the Agapé UK Students London team Instagram account and reached out to us to ask if, and how, she might be able to get involved.
Not long afterwards, Kenzie (an Intern with Agapé UK working on the London team) got back to Laura and they arranged to have a Zoom meeting together. Laura shared her story – her journey to discovering Jesus – with Kenzie and also shared how desperate she was to meet face-to-face with some other Christians for the first time ever since becoming a Christian herself, so they arranged to meet up for a one-to-one walk.
During their first in-person meeting, Laura shared a little bit more from her story and talked about her eagerness to learn more about the Bible. Kenzie also learnt that it was through Laura’s mum’s faith that she had initially become curious; her mum is a Christian, but she is currently living on the other side of the world in New Zealand.
Laura initially started out by exploring Buddhism, but she told Kenzie, “Buddhism touched my heart but wasn’t able to fully reach my heart.” She just felt like something was still missing; whilst she liked the wisdom she perceived in Buddhism, it was never able to fully grasp her heart. She realised that Jesus is the only one who can persistently offer her hope. “It was obvious Jesus was trying to get my attention,” she explained to Kenzie.
The following week, Kenzie invited Laura to join her in going to her church, and Laura got to experience church for the first time ever! She was curious throughout the church service, asking questions like: “Why are people lifting their hands?” and when Communion was being given out, “What are they giving out? Is this some kind of dessert or something?”
Laura was so enthusiastic! After she learnt what it was, she was excited to take the bread and the wine, and she even lifted her hands during worship as well!
After thinking about Laura’s story and how she got in touch with them, Kenzie is encouraged by the impact that the Agapé UK Students London team is making on social media. “We put in a lot of hard work and effort, and we’re realising that the results are often bigger than we can see,” Kenzie reflects. Laura was able to find the London team on Instagram and send a simple message.
“Even as you talk about your faith on your own social media,” Kenzie continues, “you are creating an openness for other people to reach out who may need someone to do the Christian life with. Those that need Jesus and may not have been followers of Him before, can now click that ‘follow’ or ‘like’ button, and it could change their life and bring them the community they need. Let’s keep talking about our faith online!”