Gainesville 3

Hey Guys and Gals!

Playing spike ball at The Plaza of the Americas

Today was great! God really paved the way for the day, answering prayers and opening so many doors. This morning I got to read Matthew 13, focusing in on the differing soils that believers and seekers alike share. For me, I was convicted to pray for fertile soil in the conversations I would have for the day, lives that lack weeds, rocks, and paved over roads. Even in my own life, I was convicted in the ways that I had kept my spiritual soil rocky or even let weeds take root. Matthew 13 speaks of soil which lets a plant grow for a bit, but ultimately dies in the heat life bakes us in. Considering this, I thought about the different disciplines that I let take root, as well as the others that were neglected and died out. I have realized in my time on this mission that I flat out haven’t shared the Gospel, pretty much ever. I went to school to study scripture, I was seeking to do something with ministry, and I love working at T Bar M, but it struck me that I wasn’t living on mission as best I could. I prayed for an opportunity to share the Gospel or even direct conversations closer to it, hoping the Lord would reward my boldness and (hopeful) obedience with an open door. An open a door He did.

While handing out flyers Tino (our campus leader for the day) and I met a guy named Nathan. Nathan had a huge heart for international students and had a bunch of friends from overseas. A psychology student and senior, Nathan was very open to sharing how he felt his past three years were wasted at UF since he really didn’t do anything lasting on campus. He shared his feelings of loss in a culture that praised constant speed and wealth, which was the perfect opportunity to share the lifestyle of the easy yoke that Jesus offers us in Matthew 11, a lifestyle that follows from a loving God that desires rest. God also opened a door for me to share the scripture I had been memorizing recently (Micah 6:8), and Nathan seemed to appreciate Christians who were doing things and not attacking others on campus. Tino and I then shared how our lives were impacted by Christ, Tino sealing the deal by sharing how Christ died for us and rose again. All in all, I think the conversations we had with Nathan were around twenty minutes, but when Nathan left, I was blown away and encouraged by how sincere it all was. I don’t believe Nathan will accept Christ today, but I am so happy to be a part of the chain of events that may lead to his confession of faith.

Bold prayers ought to be ones that make us squirm right? Prayer is honestly the driving force in helping me grow this week. I am so thankful for the opportunities this trip has brought me. Ask anyone on my Team and they’ll tell you, on our first day I was a mess. My knees were shaking, my hands sweaty, and I outright refused to go over and talk with some people. But by the grace of God and others around me, prayers, and practice, and a little too much caffeine God gave me chances to grow in an area I had avoided for a long time. I pray that if nothing else is gained from this trip, at the very least maybe I will carry with me what it means to live on mission and take these conversations to where I have been placed by God in life. As I look back, there have been conversations that I let go by instead of listening to the still small voice in the midst of my insecurities. But even then, in the midst of all of my insecurities, God is still good and chooses to us. And praise to Him, we have another full day tomorrow and there is no telling what will happen. All we can count on here in Gainesville, Florida is that God will be good, and He will deliver us.

-Landon Collins

Meeting students for boba tea to end the day.

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