Wednesday, February 02, 2005

5 Students Who Changed the World

Back in my hometown...san jose :) in the office reading some good
ol' inspiration on past campus revivals...do it again Lord..do it again!


5 Students Who Changed the World

By, Steve Shadrach

We don't have to look far to see the incredible potential of college students. Even though only 1 percent of the world's population are collegians, what a powerful 1 percent they are! This small sliver of humanity is, and will be, the leader of every facet of society. Each country sends their best and brightest to the university for education and training. Focusing our evangelistic and discipling efforts on this 1 percent is a very strategic way to expand the Kingdom of God and fulfill the Great Commission.

Almost one fourth of the world's college students reside in North America and they represent the most reachable, recruitable, trainable, and sendable category of persons on the planet. It's true what Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ says: "If we can win the university today, we will win the world tomorrow."

There is a growing openness among college students worldwide toward the gospel. Being a world- and current-events buff, I'm always clipping articles in newspapers about student protests and rallies in other nations. My observation is that students are more open than ever to the West, to new ideas and technology, to philosophies and beliefs that are different from their ancestors. Who and what will fill that gap? Will it be other world religions, cults, secularism, or the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ?

The challenge, as always, is the lack of workers compared to the ripened harvest. Patti Burgin, author of The Powerful Percent, tells of the need, "There are about 3,300 colleges in the United States. There are about 25,000 around the world. Despite the efforts of so many groups, more than a third of the world's college campuses do not have any contact with full time Christian workers." How about you? Will you step into the gap?
We're living in an amazing period of history, and as I travel to different countries, students want to meet Westerners. They want to learn English, and listen to the personal, political and spiritual ideas we present. Never before has God opened the doors and hearts of so many students worldwide to allow English-speaking Christians from North America to have impact. This unprecedented opportunity for sharing the gospel with students globally also brings an undeniable obligation. We have been blessed. Why? To be a blessing to others! Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us it is God who has placed in us this desire to permanently impact others:
God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.

This is especially true of college students when incredible optimism, unrestrained aspiration, and the belief that God may just be big enough to pull off what He says He will, is firmly planted in their hearts. Dennis Gaylor, national director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, sees the awesome possibilities of this group as well: "College students are idealistic, energetic, and active. They comprise one of the greatest reservoirs of manpower for the cause of Jesus Christ in the entire world."
What is the potential of just one student? Throughout my years of traveling to universities around the world, I have observed that great campus revivals can always be traced back to one person. More times than not, the spark comes from a student, not a staff person; one student who takes the person and purposes of Jesus Christ seriously. They believe and act. To fuel your vision a bit, I've chosen five students from history who I have a hunch are in heaven's "College Student Hall of Fame."

1. Ludwig Von Zinzendorf
Born into a wealthy German family in 1700, Zinzendorf grew up and attended the University of Wittenburg to study law. At age 19 he was looking at a painting of Christ in agony on the cross and an inscription below that read, "All this I did for you; what are you doing for Me?" From that moment on, he forsook the comfortable life of a nobleman to begin spreading the gospel throughout the world.

He started inviting Christians to come live on his farm and learn how to grow spiritually. He launched a 24-hour prayer vigil that focused on world intercession that continued unbroken for 100 years! As a result, his mission society, the Moravians, sent out more missionaries the next 20 years than all the Protestants or Anglicans had sent out in the previous 200 years. His burning desire to reach others with the gospel issued out of his love for Christ. Asked about his passion, he replied: "I know of only one passion; it is He and He alone."


2. Samuel Mills
A tall, awkward, squeaky-voiced freshman at Williams College in Massachusetts, Mills would have never been voted "Most Likely to Succeed." Mocked and harassed by other students, he and four other college friends would slip out to a nearby meadow to pray and talk. On one rainy August afternoon in 1806, they were taking refuge next to a huge haystack, reading missionary biographies, and interceding for the world. When the rain subsided, Mills stood up, slammed his fist into his hand, and announced "We can do this, if we will!"

These five young collegians stepped out in faith and not only initiated the first nationwide student movement, but also began the first six mission agencies from North America. Although there were just 25 colleges in America (averaging about a hundred students each) at the time, the "Haystack Five" helped launch small world mission study and prayer clusters on many of them. Mills himself died at age 35 on a ship coming back from West Africa, having contracted malaria while setting up yet another mission agency to reach slaves on that continent.

3. Lottie Moon
Raised in a wealthy Virginia family before the Civil War, Lottie Moon was a well educated and cultured woman measuring all of four feet three inches! In college, she ran from God, but later testified, "I went to a campus revival to scoff, and returned to my room to pray all night." Sailing for China as a single 23-year-old female missionary was unusual; for this diminutive pioneer, though, it was par for the course. Passing up a marriage proposal from a prominent seminary professor was difficult, but she justified it by declaring, "God had first claim on my life and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result!"

While in China, along with her aggressive evangelism, she constantly wrote letters, recruiting thousands of women in the states to pray, volunteer and give to foreign missions. Later, in her 70s, she gave away all her money and food to help the starving Chinese. Other missionaries tried to rescue her in time to save her life, loading her frail and famished body on a ship headed for America, but she died on board late one December night in 1912 — Christmas Eve. How appropriate that the Southern Baptist annual world missions funding effort that has raised hundreds of millions of dollars over the years is named for Lottie Moon, and takes place at the same time each year — Christmas.

4. C.T. Studd
In the early 1880s, Hudson Taylor, with the China Inland Mission, was back home in England recruiting workers. He interviewed several students from the distinguished Cambridge University who were burdened about how lost China's millions were. As a result, God touched the heart of C.T. Studd, a popular student from an affluent family, and the best cricket player in all of England. He and six other renowned athletes banded together and volunteered to spend their life on the mission field, giving up the fame and fortune that awaited them in professional sports.
The impact was amazing, and by the time the seven arrived in China a year later, over 160 others had signed up to join them. God used their story to spread a wildfire of interest and decisions across the universities of the western World and by 1900 one third of all foreign missionaries were ministering with their organization in China. Studd lived a life of abandonment to Christ, giving away all his inheritance in order to pioneer works in China, India, and Africa. His motto? "I'd rather run a rescue shop within a foot of hell than live within the sound of a chapel bell. If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, nothing I sacrifice is too great for Him."

5. Grace Wilder
The daughter of an American missionary, Grace Wilder grew up in India. Due to her father's health, the family returned home in 1876 to live and minister near Princeton University. A few years later Grace enrolled in nearby Mt. Holyoke College and promptly started a weekly Bible study for women. Before they could join, though, she required them to sign a "declaration" stating: "I hold myself willing and desirous to do the Lord's work wherever He may call me, even if it be to a foreign land." Thirty-four women signed it.

Grace and her younger brother, Robert, heard about the Mt. Hermon, Mass., Bible conference that evangelist D.L. Moody was hosting for over 250 college men in July of 1886. Grace encouraged her brother to go and to take an even more radical version of her declaration with him to ask men to sign. This one stated, "We the undersigned, declare ourselves willing and desirous, God permitting, to go to the unevangelized portions of the world." She stayed behind and prayed that 100 of the men would sign it, committing themselves to foreign missions. God answered, as exactly 100 men signed, thus launching the greatest student missions mobilization effort in history — the Student Volunteer Movement. Over the next 40 years, almost 100,000 students would sign this declaration and embrace the watchword: "The Evangelization of the World in This Generation!" At age 26, Grace sailed for India with her widowed mother to continue the missionary work her father began. She died in 1911, at age 50, having given her life to mobilizing college students and evangelizing the unreached.

As I look closely at the lives of visionary men and women who have preceded us, I've concluded there are only three kinds of people on this planet:

1. Those who watch history
2. Those who study history
3. Those who make history

God has put eternity in your heart too. What are you going to do about it?

3 Comments:

At 2/04/2005 08:43:00 AM , Blogger Grace said...

Yes, I believe that we are those who make history...

 
At 2/04/2005 08:49:00 AM , Blogger Grace said...

Yes, I believe that we are those who make history...
No give up. Keep praying...
Jesus is our Victor.

 
At 2/08/2005 02:37:00 AM , Blogger jontsai said...

praise God! awesome goodies

 

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