Last month, Zak and Becky partnered with community leaders to host a cultural event for international students. “It was one of the most satisfying concerts we’ve ever done, because we saw people sharing their hearts with each other—getting to know one another. It was so encouraging to see students being loved on by our former Cojourner participants, along with some of the young ladies we've discipled the past few years, take the initiative to engage as "Explorers," said Becky. “One young lady from Turkey told us this was the best day she had since coming to our town. I felt a great connection with her. I look forward to learning more about Yelena’s* 's story. To engage with someone on a caring level is a small win, but it's a vital step as we build bridges to the gospel.”
The strength of the “Concert & Conversation“ events are evident in their results: Christians listen to non-Christians and are empowered to share the gospel, new relationships are formed that continue long after the concerts, and new believers are receiving Jesus and coming into the kingdom!
Midway through a recent concert, we had 10 volunteers share Soularium with a group of 5-10 international students per group. Following that time of discussion, Zak shared a bit of his testimony and the gospel. While Zak spoke, a young man was smiling and nodding at everything Zak was sharing. He was completely locked in. "His response was like he knew the words to the song I was talking about, he couldn't help but to be moved by what God's Spirit was doing on the inside." So when we got the prayer response cards back, we were excited, and yet not surprised, that this man (Furkan*) was one of the five who responded "yes" to receiving Christ that night. We could see it in his eyes that God was already at work in his heart. After the concert, Furkan was able to get a Turkish new testament, and his Soularium leader is continuing to follow up with him!
The events use response cards as one more tool to go deeper with students, giving them another space to share their hearts. Many share prayer requests, and some indicate new faith in Jesus!
*names changed for privacy