End of another academic year!
June marks the end of the most unusual semester any of us can remember. Students are busy preparing for their final exams, and staff workers can take a deep breath after a busy season of ministry, and start looking ahead to summer plans and how to regroup next semester.
Although this semester was not at all what we expected, we did see many ways that God was working during this time. Тhe Zoom Bible studies were different than our normal meetings, yet students were still deeply encouraged and challenged by their time together in the Bible. Here are a few messages that students have sent to staff over the last month:
"Thank you for the Bible study tonight. I've learnt a lot, and I will be sure to read my Bible on my own, you've inspired me. I think I know some others who might be interested in the group, I'll invite them to join." (From a student who hasn't been a part of the group for a long time, but has come back now that she has more time).
"I really needed this time together, and it's made my whole week. It felt like a slice of home. I'll be joining in each week for sure." (From an international student who is struggling with being stuck in Bulgaria far from his home country during this time)
"I really enjoyed the Bible study today. It helped me answer a few personal questions I was having. It's a great relief to think I'm not big enough to mess up God's plan" (From a graduating student who is worried about how the epidemic is going to affect her ability to get a job.)
One of the other highlights of this time was our end of the year Debriefing conference for our Barnabas program interns. We expected it to be a bit difficult and awkward staring at our screens for so long, but it turned out to be a very encouraging, deep time, that everyone enjoyed and learned from. We studied several chapters from the book of Hebrews, and the writer encouraged us to be faithful and to continue on following the example of Jesus and the "Heroes of Faith" that came before us. We discussed what continuing faithfully means, and what tools we can use to make sure that we persevere to the end. And we finished with a celebration of everything that God did in and through the interns this year. This event was so successful that we are considering how we can continue to use online meetings in the future to supplement our normal work.