Over the years Student Life has given out thousands of free jandals to university students all over New Zealand. In just Auckland alone, campus team leader Jeremy Carroll estimates that 16,000 pairs have been handed out in the past four years. These jandals are given to students during orientation weeks for free, and in exchange students complete a two minute survey where they indicate how interested they are in knowing more about Jesus.
Following the jandals and surveys, the ‘On the Journey’ outreach continues as members of Student Life then go on to meet with the students who are interested to know more about Jesus.
Right: Snap of Student Life at AUT engaging students with jandals
Mikayla was one of the hundreds of students who Student Life contacted in 2017. She was a first year student, wondering why she was at university and unsure of her purpose.
“Before coming to Christ, I honestly was so lost. I was questioning everything, why I was studying, why I was doing the things I was doing and I found myself slowly giving up on life…”
Mikayla had heard a little bit about Christianity through friends from high school, and she had always been open to faith and God. However, it wasn’t until Student Life got in touch with her through the jandals outreach that she had an opportunity to explore who Jesus is and the significance of His death and resurrection.
“I came to know Jesus through the weekly Explore studies that Student Life offers, and also through the camp and mid-year conference. I decided to follow Jesus because I needed guidance in my life and I knew I couldn’t get it from anywhere or anyone else.”
Since deciding to follow Christ in April 2017, Mikayla has seen God grow her in her faith.
“I’ve learned to forgive people, I’ve learned the true meaning of the gospel and the importance of sharing it with others, I’ve met a lot of new people who help me in my journey and instead of looking for my identity in people or things, I know my identity is in Christ and He has given me a new life.”
God has undoubtedly been working in Mikayla, and has also been working through her to draw more people to Himself. This year she has not only joined Student Life as a Committed Student Leader – in which she is being discipled, learning to disciple others, and getting involved in the mid-year outreach – but she is also sharing the gospel with those in her own life.
“At the beginning of the year I shared the gospel with my best friend…but it wasn’t until our Student Life conference in July that she gave her life to Christ.”
Mikayla had come back from Nelson Beach Project (an awesome missions trip Student Life runs each year), and was “on that high of wanting to share the gospel with people.” When she got home from the project, she was eager to share the gospel with her best friend.
“I was a bit disappointed that she didn’t decide [to follow Christ] right away but I knew that she had to think about it more and decide for herself. When she did come to Christ at Conference I legit cried. I was SO happy and excited for her!”
Above: Mikayla (right) coaching her best friend Lupe (new believer of less than a week at the time) in calling survey contacts to make gospel appointments
Once lost, Mikayla is now found in Christ, centred in Him, and living to make Him known to others. She is one of many students who has come to know Jesus by God’s grace through Student Life, through a pair of jandals in exchange for a simple survey. Who would have known that God would bless such an outreach?
Join us as we praise God for His work on campuses across New Zealand, for bringing students from death to life. Let’s pray He would continue to save, and keep students like Mikayla grounded and growing in the gospel as they journey through university and into eternity.
Mikayla (second row, far right) at a Committed Student Leaders (CSL) retreat