I turn onto the wide walkway's of the Commons Lawn at Calvin College and make my way toward it's center in the same minivan I used to drop off a full load of prayer room supplies just a week before. The 24-7 Tent in the center of Calvin's campus has been in commission this entire week with every prayer slot in the online sign-up filled by the second or third day running. As I approach the tent at about 10pm to pick up the prayer supplies, technically hours after it is supposed to have been over and done with, I see that it still looks very lively from a distance--and when I arrive I realize that there are still students using it. Not only are there still students using it, there are multiple groups of students praying both inside and out!
Ana and the team she's been coordinating meet me there and realize they are going to have to kick the students out of the tent while we tear down, but end up just redirecting them outside with some blankets to sit on as they continue to pray in huddles. We begin packing up the supplies and I overhear snippets of pray ministry going on around us:
--One group is huddled around a young woman and declaring the Truth over her that she is a daughter of the Father, first and foremost, and that the enemy can't bring a charge against her identity.
--Another girl pops in earnestly seeking a copy of the "Who I am in Christ" sheets to use to minister to a young man sporting a backpack and chucks who had just shown up asking for prayer.
--As we are loading up the van with bean bag chairs, christmas lights, and totes full of art supplies, one member of the team shares with me several stories of Jesus encounters during the week, including a young man who showed up one morning in the middle of the week saying that he had planned to commit suicide that day, but for some reason ended up there at the prayer tent and did not know why. He was able to receive prayer from those present, be encouraged to hope in The Lord, and seek help in his struggles.
As yet another student helping tear down shares with me his heart and desire to see food more evenly distributed and not gone to waste right here in this city and is beginning a practical food-waste reduction program in conjunction with his campus dining hall, I am amazed at the ways Jesus is meeting these students right where they are in prayer--His Spirit addressing hearts, comforting, restoring hope, spurring them to be agents of change for His Kingdom. He is drawing them to worship Him with their whole lives, and find their true identity and purpose IN Him.
Thank You, Jesus for these students, for this tent of meeting--and for meeting your children here this week.
:: tim ::