by Kara Gibbs—Cedarville, Ohio
It all started with a few cups of coffee and some pastries.
This past spring, Cedarville University junior Sarah Stambach felt prompted to minister to the construction workers at the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies — men whom God had brought to the Cedarville campus. After inquiring with the construction company, Sarah, along with fellow students Benjamin Roose and Matt Fox, brought coffee and snacks to the workers. Soon after, a discussion with Rob Hunt, the building project manager, about getting more involved led to two teams developing. These teams brought morning snacks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, providing an opportunity to build relationships with the men and, ultimately, share the Gospel with them.
The students met some challenges along the way. Matt says, “Initially, it was difficult to dialogue with the men. They would grab a snack, say ‘thank you,’ and then head back to work.” Naturally, this made it difficult to pursue those relationships. And yet, the students knew they were building a testimony of faithfulness and care whether or not a conversation ensued.
“Another factor that was hard for us was that new [construction crews] were constantly coming in and old ones were always leaving,” Matt continues. “We could have a conversation with the same couple of guys three weeks in a row and then the next week they were gone.” Overall, though, they saw that the men were always thankful and encouraged by what the students provided. A few of the workers even said they had never received that kind of treatment before.
On Thursday, April 24, Matt, Benjamin and Sarah put together a barbeque for the crew. Their intention was to build off the testimony they had already set and openly share God’s Word. Prepared with 100 tracts and 30 Bibles, more than 40 students* joined them. Matt gave a brief presentation of the Gospel, then they left the results in God’s hands. One man, Bob, whom Matt had been talking with throughout the semester, requested a Bible. As the students were packing things up, a couple of men expressed an interest in reading the tracts.
“I don’t have any specific stories about further conversations about Christ,” Matt says, “but no matter what, I know that we were showing them the love of Christ by just caring about their lives.”
* Andrew Gordon, Andrew Knesnik , Christina Puffer, David Tofilon, Emily Ruffner, Seth Flamm, Steven Bash, Andrew Barfell, Beth Chamberlain, Deanna Strohm, Julia Skelton, Katherine Chandler, Kurt Groman, Molly Thomas, Nicholas Dunn, Randi Raimer, Rebecka Neyman, Kaitlyn Cook, Sarah Bresson, Amber Prince, Tricia DeKorne, Val Wood, Amanda Cox, Ben Curtis, Kyle Lowry, Lisa Prins, Micah Wagner, Ben Roose. Matt Fox, Wes Muntz, Toby Dewhurst, Tim Smith, Sarah Stambach, Amanda McCollim, Andrew Staab, Christopher Powers, Joshua Hueni, Michael Knudsen, Rebecca Peak, Robert Childs, and Scott Miller