Praying for the Academic Year

by Paul Briggs

It has been a privilege for campus ministry to be part of the DNA of Kossuth Street Baptist Church since 1987 when Salt & Light Christian Fellowship (SLCF) had its inception (as Campus Baptist Student Fellowship). As traffic picks up in the Greater Lafayette area signaling the return of students from around the country and even from around the world arriving at Purdue, the reality of the differences in the start of this academic year compared to the many previous years are stark. While the differences of welcoming new students to Purdue’s campus this year are many, the need for dependence on the great God we proclaim has not diminished. So as the new semester begins (on August 24), we want to ask you to be praying. I don't just mean thinking, I mean praying. Praying earnestly. Asking the Lord, who has strategically placed Kossuth in proximity to the Purdue campus and who has given us as a church the joy of serving students for over 30 years now, to do exceedingly above ALL that we could ask or imagine.

Specific things for you to be praying about:

  1. Pray for David Wilson and the SLCF ministry team (Darrin and Alice Wilcoxson, Sarah Fehrman, and Lydia DeMoss) as they engage with students. David Wilson has agreed to lead SLCF while the search continues for a Director of Campus Ministry. Pray that the Lord would grant them wisdom, energy, and discernment as they teach and mentor students.
  2. Pray for the on-going search for a Director of Campus Ministry. This search has been taking place since early in 2020, and while we thought we were close to offering the job to someone, the Lord clearly had other plans for us.  Please seek the Lord concerning His direction in this area.
  3. Pray that SLCF students (from previous years) will come back with a strong sense of missional living.
  4. Pray for good contact with incoming freshmen in whose lives the Lord is at work. The points of intersection with new students are reduced this fall due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Please pray that God will open doors of opportunity for already-committed SLCF students to meet and befriend new students to disciple.
  5. Pray for wisdom and creativity in engaging with students, given the challenges of the COVID-19 restrictions. As has been the case with meeting together on Sundays, just getting together for regular meetings could prove challenging.  Please pray that God would grant good times of gathering both on Friday night (known as “Light Night”) and in the smaller groups (known as “PODS”).
  6. Pray for good contact with new international students. There will be fewer new international students on Purdue’s campus this fall due to COVID-19. Please pray that God will open doors for those reaching out to international students to be able to meet and minister the Gospel to them.
  7. Pray for on-going opportunities with international students and scholars who are here. Each Sunday morning, there are two classes for international students: the Genesis 2 Jesus class introduces students who don’t have much Bible background to the overarching story of the Bible, and the Foundations class takes students through a three-year curriculum covering one of the Gospel accounts, Romans, and the book of Acts.
  8. Praise God for giving Kossuth the privilege of ministering to college students, and ask Him to show you how you can have a Gospel-centered impact on the life of a student in the coming months.

From time to time, we receive letters from former students who attended Kossuth while they were at Purdue. The following letter came in a few weeks ago from a couple that was at KSBC over 20 years ago. We wanted to share it with you so you can be encouraged in the ways the Lord is multiplying His work throughout the world and praise His name for using Kossuth in the process! 

As we look back on our nearly 23 years of marriage and the journey through academic locations and [military] assignments, we are grateful for the local body of Christ. Each congregation has been a blessing to our family over these years, and we are thankful to God for each of you. We have learned much from each of you as we studied and served with you.  

Now, we are hanging up the [military] uniform and moving to [the Midwest]. It has been a good journey with the [the branch of the military I was in], but the Lord showed us that it was the right time for our family to start the next chapter of our life. [Our daughter] will be a freshman at [a Christian college in the midwest], and I will serve [in various capacities at this Christian academic institution]. We are both sad and excited as one chapter of life closes, and another one begins.

With each of you, we knew that our time was limited due to [military] moves. So, we tried to jump in and serve quickly. My advice to others, especially military members, is to quickly find a local body of Christ to link arms to do the work of the Lord in that place. I trust that we were able to do that in each location. Unlike our previous locations, we do not have an end date for this move to [the Midwest]. If the Lord wills, we desire to plant deep roots in this new location and [serve in a local church there]. 

We love each of you...Pray for the logistics of our move, the selling and buying of houses, new opportunities and relationships. We ask God to bless each of you as you continue to serve Him.

As we look forward to this academic year full of uncertainty (who could EVER have imagined a Fall semester without Big Ten football?!), we do so echoing the purposeful request of the Psalmist in Psalm 67:  "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations."