Time with their family group was one of the highlights during the month. Each night they met to discuss what they were learning and how they wanted to apply that to their personal lives and ministry back on campus. God taught the students so much in such a short time! A few of the students learned the importance of being vulnerable. They opened up to each other and shared personal stories they had rarely shared before. They experienced how God can work through others to bring healing and comfort when we are willing to share our lives fully. A few others were impacted by the week we spent learning about evangelism. They were excited to go back to campus and share the Gospel with their non-Christian friends and to do proxe stations (interactive displays to start spiritual conversations). Mike and Annie had a blast because the group was eager to learn how to be better spiritual leaders.
Mike and Annie also grew in their own leadership. Mike helped develop the curriculum and lead the week that focused on evangelism. As is tradition at IVLI, we took a day trip to Mackinac Island to give the students experience using a proxe station and having spiritual conversations. One of the things Mike implemented this year was keeping track of how many people we approached, how many people we had a spiritual conversation with, and how many people began following Jesus. At the end of the day, we had approached almost 900 people, had over 200 spiritual conversations, and saw 2 people make significant decisions for Jesus! The next day we had a joyous celebration at how many people were interested in talking about Jesus and how the students grew in their boldness to share the Gospel. One of the things Annie was struck by was how “old” she and Mike were. We aren’t really that old, we know! However, we were some of the older staff on the team. It was a strange feeling to realize that we have a level of experience and wisdom that the younger staff didn’t. We still have plenty to learn in our leadership and spiritual formation. But Annie enjoyed being able to care for and encourage the younger staff.
IVLI has been one of the most significant experiences for us on staff. We have many more stories we could share with you! Please let us know if you would like to hear more about the month. We look forward to serving at IVLI again in the future. Again, thank you for all the prayers and financial support you provided to make it possible for us to attend IVLI. It was well worth it!