January 3, 2011
Outreach Testimony: University of Minnesota- Part 1
Ryan Gerecke, the author of this true account, is currently serving as a Ministry Intern here at BCOM. BCOM has a weekly required outreach. Here, Ryan gives his account of one week when he was a student doing outreach at the University of Minnesota campus.This is the final edition of the three part series. Click to read Part 2 and Part 3.
This week during outreach on the University of Minnesota campus I went with a group on the bus ministry. I have been praying about going on the buses for the past couple weeks and that night I felt that there was a sense of peace about it. I could envision myself doing ministry on the bus and people would be open and listen to what I had to say. There really was no fear or nervousness that set in before going out; it was more of an expectant state of mind and excitement to try something new. There were seven of us that went out, and as we got on the bus, there were not too many people on at first, but that was about to change.
The first thing I noticed was a woman in front of me staring out the window the entire time not really seeming to want to make eye contact with anyone. There were many open seats on the bus next to other people, but for some reason people would rather stand in the aisle. We began to go to various stops and pick more people up and others would get off. As the bus began to empty, I sat in one of the vacant seats hoping someone would sit next to me. I saw some of our teammates start to talk with people and kind of thought maybe I should do the same.
As I looked around it didn’t seem like too many people were interested in talking and just wanted to mind their own business. I asked a man standing in the aisle if he wanted to sit down next to me. To that he responded, “No thank you.” He later told me he had been sitting all day. I noticed the accent he had and was intrigued to find out where he was from. This led to a good conversation in which I found out his name was Pablo, he was from Uruguay, and he was studying for his PhD in electrical engineering. It was a good conversation, but then I answered his question about what I was studying. I told him that I was studying to be a missionary and when he heard that he became pretty excited. I thought this man is either a Christian or he just loves missionaries. After he got off the bus, several others got off the bus as well.
Now the bus was pretty empty except for the ones of us from BCOM. I kind of moved around the bus and sat down at a place that I thought would be inviting for people to come and sit next to me. More and more people got on the bus and no one sat down next to me. I started to wonder what I was doing wrong and just began to pray and ask God. I started to observe everyone around me and praying for them as well. There was a man who got on that reeked of marijuana and his face was stone cold, almost like no life whatsoever was there. A woman was even complaining about the smell and got up and moved to the front of the bus. Are these the ones Jesus talks about going out to get; the rejected and despised by everyone else?
To be continued…