The day had come.
Starting in the early morning hours, we arose from our makeshift beds. We used the strategy from The Terminal of pushing enough chairs together to make a bed. Surprisingly, it was quite comfortable. We gathered around the small church’s kitchen table and ate our breakfasts standing up and getting ready for the day, making light conversation as we sipped our coffee and nibbled on bagels and bananas.
Most of the group had to drive into town to get showers at the apartments of some friendly BG H2o folk. Grant and I felt clean enough to go ahead and pick up our UC friend Nikki who lived between BG and Toledo. Warming up my camera on some passing fields and electrical towers. B&W for dramatic effect.
It wasn’t long before we all arrived at the University of Toledo. Our plan, to ask students to participate in two separate surveys. One of which focused on student groups and how they’re advertised. It also included a question specifically about the Christian groups on campus. The second one was based more around spiritual questions. At any time, we could invite people to H2o UT’s first event; a Tuesday night bible study. We were definitely excited but also nervous at this point. Two Pastor Matts appear. Nikki, Taylor, Lauren, and Laura waiting for our surveying to get started. The group waits as some final words of encouragement are spoken and a prayer is said.
We go through our first round of surveys pretty fast. I was teamed up with a staff member of H2o from BG named Andrew. We wandered around the campus asking people what they thought about the student groups. It seemed like the presence of some Christian groups was already known, especially a Catholic group called CSA and a familiar group seen at most colleges, Campus Crusaders. Time pretty much flew by during this time. We kept passing pairs of our friends and would regularly stop to check in with each other. The weather, despite being beautiful, was “hot as a mug,” as Grant would normally say. It was true. I’m definitely going to come back to Cincinnati with a warm glow. And by warm glow I mean Koolaid status.
We stopped in UT’s union building for lunch. Being in two different campus union buildings lately has made me realize how boring TUC is. UC should take notes from these two campuses if and when they rebuild our student union building.
After a quick lunch, I had some free time to get the camera out again for some videos. Aside from helping to plant a church at UT, I also came up to work on a long term video documentary project based around Christian life on campus and.. well.. church planting. It was mostly B-roll stuff but it was fun to wander around by myself a bit. Soon enough though, everyone else was done and it was time for the more challenging part: sharing the gospel. Tammy (left), a graduate of UT, came down to help us out and join the upcoming staff of H2o UT. “Taylor! Give me Blue Steel.” Success.
I teamed up with Taylor and Lauren so that I could take some video for the documentary while they started some of the surveys. It wasn’t long before we got into some really interesting conversations with both Christians and Non-Christians. After awhile I decided to take a whack at it. We soon got on a roll and wandered all over campus asking for thoughts on God, Jesus, and the Bible. We also gained the ability to summarize the Bible in under a minute. We met a lot of cool people. By the end of our time we were exhausted. Lauren shares some love with the Spirit Rock. We should get one of these! We regrouped, packed up, and headed out.
Tired and ready for some rest, we headed over to Pastor Matt Pardi’s house where some relaxation, food, good friends, new friends, and conversations awaited. It was most excellent.
After a good reflection of our day, we headed back to the church before heading out once more for a couple rounds of ultimate frisbee with some BG folk. I decided to sit out and get a head start on this blog post so I could get to bed early tonight. I’m totally beat.
Today was a really interesting and reflective day. To be honest, I’ve never shared the gospel with anybody before today. Getting to ask people about their faith and hear things that I said once before was kind of eye opening to me. I could see the change within myself and feel it too. Everyone was really nice too, even if they weren’t interested a couple of them offered to share our flyers with friends they thought might be interested. I hope to see these people again. I think there is a plan to come back in a couple months to see the growth of this new church.
Tomorrow is a new day and another chance to share the Bible with students. I think the whole group has decided to stay an extra night so that we can attend the Bible study we’ve been promoting.