The First Year Student's Experience
Every student in universities and colleges has only one chance of being a first-year student. Most of the graduates can recall the first year of their campus or college life. The experiences of first years differ based on many factors such as their prior level of exposure, social economic status, and the level of support from the continuing students among other factors.
Nevertheless, all first-year students will exhibit a certain level of common characteristics. First, they are vulnerable. For some of them, it would be their first time to be separated from their parents while for others, it would be their first to experience unmatched freedom. Secondly, they experience a significant level of pressure because their loyalty is being sought after by many suitors. This pressure alone is enough to cause unnecessary anxiety and tension among them.
Harassed and Helpless
By all the standards, first years fit the category that Jesus described as “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”. While many would like to exploit the harassment and the helplessness of the first years, the Christian community respond in a similar manner as that of Christ when he saw the crowds. He had compassion for them. He exclaimed, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:36-38.
Why you should be interested
Every believer in the campus community should be interested in the well-being of the first-year student. There is no better concern than giving the first-year student an opportunity to know Christ. Naturally, the first-year students are open to the gospel, they are eager to learn and experience new things and at the same time, they are crucial for the growth of Christianity in the institution and later on become the future transformation agents for church and society.
It is for these reasons that FOCUS Kenya runs Every Fresher for Jesus Campaign, at the beginning of every new academic year. The campaign seeks to mobilize all Christian students to share the gospel with all first-year students in their first 30 days on campus. Our primary goal for evangelism is to give every student an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. More than hearing the gospel, we want them to believe, love and follow Jesus.
The campaign is anchored on God’s command to make disciples of all nations. It is inspired by Jesus’ compassion for the harassed and the helpless. We want them to know that Christ reigns at the University and the world over. We make use of the open window of their availability when they have a little or no academic load in their first few days on campus.
We all can do something
The campaign will require the participation of every believer. The Christian student on campus, the faculty, and Associates. First-years are many, and they need many more Christians to share the gospel with them. To reach all the first years with the gospel, we need at least all the students attending a CU Sunday service to share the gospel with 2 first years. We need all born-again students to share the gospel with at least two other students through a range of evangelism strategies that will be friendly to even those sharing the faith for the first time.
We invite the Christian professionals to join us in prayer for the next 3 months, trusting God for the salvation of first years. You can join the Christian Union close to you and ask the student leaders how you can support them. You can offer financial support to the CU to facilitate the necessary resources. Pray with us, ‘may Your will be done in Campus, as it is in Heaven’.