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MIO_blogDAY 7: Watch “Nations at our Doorstep”

Campus ministry is effective for evangelism. Young and exploring, college students are often open to the Gospel. But campus ministry is also a challenge. Illinois has 172 campuses and 800,000 students. Some 34,000 of those students are from foreign countries. Chase Abner welcomes those challenges as opportunities.

Since we first told of Chase’s work at SIU Carbondale, where he met and led students such as Feng Yu to Christ, Chase has joined the IBSA leadership team. He is leading ministry on campuses across the state. And he is helping churches reach out to the college and university students near them.

“Time and presence” is what it takes to minister to college students, he says. Often far from home, as Feng was, students simply need someone who will “be there” for them. And that opens a door to introduce the greatest friend of all, Jesus Christ.

Read: Jonah 4:7-11; Acts 17:10-12

Think: Coming to faith sometimes involves hard questions. What questions have you faced that may help others believe?

Pray for the 30 campuses with Baptist-led student ministries. Pray for collegiate evangelism strategist Chase Abner and campus pastors and leaders. Pray for IBSA churches to reach out to local college students.

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

Twenty-eight college students from 11 countries came to a rather unlikely place – Springfield, Ill. – the weekend before Thanksgiving, for a few rather unlikely reasons: a visit to the Abraham Lincoln museum and a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. And, of course, the chance to get away from campus for a few days. But the biggest draw?

“Year after year, it’s the experience of being in an American home,” said Chase Abner, collegiate evangelism strategist for the Illinois Baptist State Association, which organizes the Midwest International Student Conference with the help of local churches and Baptist campus ministries. “That fascinates them and draws them to the conference.”

The vast majority – up to 80% – of international students will never set foot in an American home, giving Christians a great opportunity to showcase the Gospel by just sharing their lives, Abner said.

“We’re able to show within our homes how the Christian faith affects everything about us,” he said. “How we eat, how we manage our household, how we treat our family members…”

What do you think? Have you and your family been able to use the ministry of hospitality to share the Gospel?

Other news:

Tweets from the Vatican
CNN reports Pope Benedict XVI will open a personal Twitter account next week under the account @Pontifex. His first Tweet, slated for Wednesday, Dec. 12, will answer a question about religion submitted via the hashtag #askpontifex. “The Pope’s presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena,” the church said in a written statement to reporters, according to CNN’s religion news blog. Read the full story here.

Anonymous author embraces obscurity, humility
The author of the new book “Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything,” released by B&H Publishing Group, chose to publish under the name “Anonymous” and to maintain nearly complete anonymity. Only one B&H editor and a couple of executives at LifeWay Christian Resources know the identity of Anonymous – reportedly a well-established author – who communicates via a specially created email address. “This book is a call to stop imitating the world’s formula for success and instead follow the model of our humble King,” Anonymous said in quotes provided by B&H. Read more at

Abortion rate drops 5%
The Centers for Disease Control reported in late November that the abortion rate in the United States is down 5%, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times. The decrease is reflected in data for the year 2009, the most recent information available. It represents the largest single-year decline in abortions in the last decade, The Times reported, adding that 18% of pregnancies in the U.S. end in abortion. Read more.

Survey: Most Americans back contraception mandate
Nearly two-thirds of adults in America believe businesses and organizations, even those with conflicting religious principles, should be required to provide coverage of contraception and birth control for their employees, according to a new survey by LifeWay Research. In considering whether nonprofits should be required to provide the coverage, 56 percent of adults agree and 32 percent disagree they should be required to follow the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate, even if it goes against their religious beliefs. For more findings, go to