By Norm Byers
An area wide ministry to college students with it's epicenter at Western Michigan University is in full swing. Northbridge Church of Kalamazoo (Ray Brandon) recently launched Northbridge University Church or UChurch for short as an extension of Northbridge’s Sunday services for students on campus.
UChurch says up front exactly what they are… a church ministry and sets itself apart from other ministries like Campus Crusade, Intervarsity, His House, etc. And yet, they have successfully partnered with these para-church ministries sending students on mission’s trips and are building an outreach ministry to Middle Eastern students from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Northbridge believes God has a particular calling to the church to reach out and disciple all nations to Himself.
The majority of the international students at WMU come from nations within the 10/40 window. The 10/40 Window is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude and includes the majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists, it has the highest concentration of unreached peoples in the world. There are approximately 1,700 international students from 104 countries enrolled at WMU.
The school year started out by inviting students to Bronco Bash and one student Bible study on Wednesday nights. The Bible study began averaging 12 students and the ministry has expanded to multiple nights of Bible studies and one-to-one discipling relationships. UChurch began the first of October meeting at the Bernard Center on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. under the leadership of John Gilfillan (2014 Assessment Center candidate) and the ministry team from Northbridge Church.
Please pray that God would soften the hearts of the WMU students to Himself, particularly those from the international community. Please also pray for the ministry team, that connections would be made with these students and wisdom given as to how best to reach out to them.