Category Activities

Networking training With Charles Ruffolo

Training on Networking with TheNetworking Charles Ruffolo

Agape Nederland, the organization I am working with, has organized three training days with Charles Ruffolo on Networking.

The training was inspiring and we learned a lot on what it is and how to do it. Furhtermore, Charles invited us to his network club so we can see networking in action. We were encouraged to practice what we learned during this evening.

I was amazed to see so many people connect with each other and help each other fulfil part of their dreams.

We are better prepared to increase our impact for God’s kingdom work in The Netherlands.

At the Network club with Charles

Training for speakers in the university setting: some reflections

Passionweeks is a movement in The Netherlands that allows students to hear a message from a Christian point of view. I participated in one of the training days in October. Benno van den Toren gave a workshop on how to prepare a talk in a university setting. Here are some highlights of this workshop. 

  • Christians sometimes feel they have to keep their faith in the private sphere. But the Christian faith is a worldview that attempts to explain all of reality. Therefore Christians should bring their faith to the public square and not just keep it private. 
  • Christians could make an effort to built bridges with people outside the Christian faith. A good approach is to invite non-Christians into our world so they can see that the Christian faith is meaningful and reasonable. 
  • First, introduce people to Christ. Show them that Christ is attractive, trustworthy, and meaningful to you as a speaker. After you have done this you can remove some of the barriers, things that keep non-Christians away from considering the Christian faith as a life option. Benno said that “a witness from someone trustworthy makes a huge difference.” 
  • Furthermore, show why Christ is both the answer to issues like guilt, shame, overcoming evil, and also that he is a solid foundation for our lives. 
  • Finally, as a speaker find your voice. Don’t be afraid to stand and speak with your vulnerabilities and questions. Even then we have a reason to trust our message. 

It was a good and helpful workshop for people who give talks in the university setting. 

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StudentLife News April 2019

Christian background students with basic questions

It happens a few times every semester that I meet a Christian student that has basic questions about the Christian faith. This happens in different settings, during our weekly campus conversations, on a retreat, or at a church. This month together with Pia we met a student from India who comes from a Christian background. She is not involved with a church while in The Netherlands. Still believes some of the basics of the Christian faith. But she was not confident about her relationship with God. She also had many questions related to interpreting the Bible and how to practice her beliefs in daily life.

Big questions of life

Here are some of the questions we asked her and how she responded.

What gives your live value and meaning?

Her answer was “family, contributing to society, and impacting people’s lives. Otherwise, life would be boring.” This generation is concerned about social and global issues, especially how to contribute to the improvement of peoples’ lives. That’s great to see! Her values come from her Christian upbringing, family, friends and society.

What do you want to accomplish by the end of your life?

“Religiously, I want to live a good life without having regrets. Professionally, I want to have a positive impact on people’s lives. This supplements my personal life, also. I hope that after I am gone people will miss me because I meant something to them.” I asked her what she meant about leading a “good life.” Moral values, values I get from the Bible” was her answer.

Am I good enough?

What happens to people after they die?

“Death is like a sleep. When God comes back there will be a resurrection. Both good and not good people will be resurrected. The good people will live forever with God.” I asked her, “Will you be part of the group that will live with God? Or does this thought of separation from God scare you? What does this mean to you in your daily life?” She thought about this one a little longer. She then said, “If I fix everything, then yes, I will be with God forever.” I double checked about what the “if I fix everything” meant to her. Here comes the surprise. She mentioned mainly external things, such as smoking, drinking, live a godly life.

What do you think about God?

“God is loving, he sacrifices himself for others. God is unselfish. He is also powerful.” I pointed out, “If God is loving then he is also a person, and therefore relational. Do you have a relationship with God? How would you describe this?” Her reply was that it is a relationship that is “on and off.” She used the phrase “I feel disconnected with God at the moment.” I asked, “why do you feel disconnected from God?” This time she mentioned that she was not keeping the “Sabbath, a day of rest,” and also “I am also drinking alcohol sometimes, I should not be doing this as a Christian.” She thought that this is what the Bible says, the way her parents and church background taught her.

Who in your opinion was Jesus?

“Jesus is the saviour for our sins. He is also our example for the way to live our lives.” I asked, “What is sin?” She said, “Sin is anything we do that is against God or his laws.” She also said that someone is a Christian if he reflects God and his character. My last question was this, “If it were possible, would you want to know God in a personal way? Why?” She said, “Yes, I would like to know God because there are some things that are not clear in my mind. God could give me answers to these questions.”

Conversations at TU Delft February 2019

“Well, would you like to meet again and talk further about some of these questions with us.” She said, “Now I am busy but at some point, I would like to talk further. We gave her our contact details and pray that we will have another opportunity to talk further.

 

Key volunteer students

Our two key volunteer students, Simon and Sebastiaan, did a great work leading the weekly outreach group in Delft. Simon will take a national role this month. Sebastiaan will probably not be in Delft after the summer vacations. Together with them, we are inviting students to become key volunteers and continue leading this group. We are also doing the same thing in Rotterdam and The Hague, seeking to find more key volunteers. Contacts of Christian students you might know in these cities and prayer is welcomed.

Key volunteer students make all the difference in campus outreach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

– Proofreading Dan Truitt

– Ask God one question. Read here questions students would ask God.

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Connexxion Amsterdam retreat 2019 Reasons for our faith

At this student retreat, we talked about reasons for our faith and communicating the good news with our friends. The Christian faith makes sense of reality. On the practical side, we talked about “asking good questions” in conversations we have with our friends. 

Connexxion Amsterdam, a student group, had their annual retreat this year in a nice hostel castle at Heemskerk. Martha Moore, the student worker for this student group, invited me to give three talks. The retreat was planned for March 30th-31st.

Retreat Group Photo

 

The three sessions

In the first session, we talked about what Christian apologetics is and why it is important, especially for the 21st century. At this link, you can read about the content of this session.

Next, we talked about some “reasons for our faith.” In this session, we addressed topics such as “the nature of faith,” and two main ways to show that Christianity makes sense. Here you can read more about this session.

At our last session, we talked about “an unlikely witness for Jesus” from the gospel of John chapter 4. Furthermore, we dealt with the following: Giving a gospel presentation, and how to ask good questions in a conversation.

There was one more talk given by Martha herself. This was an inspiring and visionary talk about living day to day with Jesus and participating in what God is doing in the world.

Session: Reasons for our faith

Q&A session

Finally, we had a Q&A session on Saturday evening. The students collected about 15 questions and Pia and I replied the best we could. This was a highlight for me personally. I always enjoy these moments of interaction with the students. Their questions are open, sincere, and authentic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversations on Campus February 2019

StudentLife Delft

StudentLife Delft is going for conversations every week at the campus. This week we had a few first-year students that joined us for the first time. This is a group of students from different student organizations and church backgrounds. It is always exciting to go for the first time. The students had good conversations and found it a good way to share what they believe.

 

Passionweek Rotterdam

For the very first-time students organized at the Erasmus campus a mission week, in The Netherlands we call them “passionweek.” A few students attended the lunch talks. The evening talks that were organized at a cafe in the city were well attended. We had conversations with students that had many good questions. StudentLife is helping students organize the follow-up meetings for those interested to meet again.