With many traditional doors closed to meeting new students due to Covid19, we prayed and asked God for creativity and direction. We sensed God asking us to go through the students we already know to meet “new to us” students. Most of the students we are engaged with are graduate level, so they are still here at Michigan State. And the students we already know all have friends who are not yet a part of our community!
We observed that our international friends were choosing a few close friends to spend time with face to face. So, the first way we met new students was through an app based scavenger hunt called Goosechase. We asked students if they would lead a team with two to four friends to compete with other teams in a scavenger hunt focused on various missions on campus. Following the scavenger hunt, students and volunteers all gathered on ZOOM to meet each other, share upcoming opportunities and award prizes. Everyone enjoyed the evening as we connected both in small pods of students face to face and then in a big group virtually!!!
One of the positive outcomes of going through the students we already know is that it has encouraged the students in our community to take more spiritual initiatives with their friends.
One of the new to us students from Japan said that she had never done anything like this before and that she had a great time. A few other new friends who attended the scavenger hunt asked to know when our next event was happening. We are praying for these students to continue to be a part of our community. To date we have contact with around 30 “new to us” international students. We don’t know how or if they will continue to connect. But we continue to go to God in prayer and wait in expectation. As we began to meet students through the students we know and through social media one of our volunteer co-workers stated, “God is on the move!”