Friday, December 26, 2008

STINT Survey and the Christmas Conference

I've been thinking alot about you stinters scattered around the world. I know that the Christmas season is often a great time for sharing the hope that you have in Jesus, and I pray that you have seen God revealing Himself to friends that you have been making over the past weeks and months.

I'm sure you are all praying as well for the 10,000+ students who are attending Christmas Conferences beginning tomorrow. Did you know the Bridges Conference has over 800 international students attending, their largest conference ever. Imagine the impact of that as they return to their campuses, and to their nations in the years ahead.

As you pray for all of those who are attending conferences, I know you are hopeful that God will touch the hearts of hundreds and thousands of students with a passion for God and His heart for the nations. You might remember that the first night of the Briefing Conference I shared about Moses and his encounter with God in the burning bush. Well, your surveys about why you came on STINT were evidence of the reality of the burning bush experiences of which you shared that night. 93% of you said that one of the most important factors in deciding to come on STINT was hearing from God in His word and prayer. A friend's counsel, a summer project trip, and vision for your campuses' partnership location were all very significant as well.

It seems to me that the Christmas and Winter conference environment is where a lot of these factors intersect. Meeting with God, hearing about the mission, encouragement from friends, and a chance to go overseas for a summer are all part of the conference environment.

But here is what the stint survey also revealed; only about 5% of you made the decision to STINT while at the conference. 28% made that decision after the conference in January and February. At first I was surprised, but then I realize how good this really is. It shows a reflective process is occurring. There is also the fact that 65% of you said the challenge of raising support was one of your biggest barriers to stinting. The specter of raising $40,000 in 3 months tends to cause one to check a few times if that was really God they heard in the bush, or was it just passing emotionalism.

I pass this along though so that we put our hope in God for what He wants to do in raising up additional stinters. No doubt your experience is proving what Jesus told his disciples 2000 years ago: "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few." Wherever you are on STINT, and regardless of the current results, one message always cries out: We Need More Help!

Jesus' solution was to "pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into His Harvest." Put into the example of Moses from Exodus, let's pray that 10,000 students will be "turn aside" to see, listen to, and respond to God as He reveals Himself, and His heart for each one of them to be fulfilled in His Kingdom purpose for their lives. If that happens, I'm sure God will call many to labor alongside of you as STINTers this coming year. (And the rest who don't can support you!)

And my prayer for you is that you will experience God's refreshing touch upon your life in the days ahead, with hope in your heart for how He wants to work in your life this coming year.

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