Clara was pursuing MA in Economics from Dehradun, and since the pandemic struck, she deeply missed meeting her friends; Pranay, Aisha, Luke, and Vinita. Vinita was a believer, studying in the same class as Clara while Aisha and Luke were still in their undergraduate doing BSc in Chemistry and Pranay, another believer was doing his Masters in psychology. Clara, Vinita, and Pranay were student leaders in their ICEU and always encouraged Aisha and Luke to attend fellowships but both of them did not show much interest.
One evening, Clara had a video call with Vinita and Pranay. “Hi Pranay, hey Vini! How are you?” said Clara.
“Hi, Clara and Vinita,” said Pranay,
“Hi guys, I’m tired after online classes and assignments.” Vinita said “Yes me too! On the campus, we used to have such fun while studying together, meeting for fellowships, and hanging out sipping coffee in the evenings. I miss the campus life and especially the offline Bible studies. Online Bible studies are so different and tiring and so many of our friends have stopped coming to them. I miss seeing Aisha and Luke.”
“Yes, Vini, both of them usually don’t reply to my texts and make excuses for attending fellowship. I can understand that it is not easy to attend it after attending online classes and doing assignments throughout the day” said Clara. “But since both of them have given their life to Jesus and accepted Him as their savior they need to grow in the Lord and ground themselves in scriptures.”
Time for Creativity
“I think we have to use our creativity, for such a time as this,” said Vinita. “Let’s cancel this week’s regular Thursday Bible study and have an informal time of fellowship in which we all can share our lockdown experience over coffee and few games. What do you both say?” said Vinita.
“Superb!” said Clara “Let’s call it a Brew & Bond fellowship.” “Great idea. I’m sure more students would be interested in this. I feel it’s important to informally bond with each other if we want to help them grow as disciples of Jesus. Since the pandemic is going on I know many of them are suffering from depression and the loss of loved ones so this idea would fulfill the need of the hour! Also, how about meeting on Friday rather than Thursday? I feel Friday evenings are comparatively more relaxing.” said Pranay.
“Absolutely! Let’s prayerfully do this! Thank you Pranay and Vinita for this idea!” said Clara.
Sowing the Seed
The next day, Clara, Pranay, and Vinita called to catch up with Aisha and Luke over phone calls and it turned out that Aisha opened up to Clara and Vinita about her family struggles during the pandemic and on the other hand, Luke shared many of his problems with Pranay. The Brew & Bond session which was held next week was filled with laughter, icebreakers, coffee, and prayer. This Brew and Bond fellowship started to take place every month in which many students joined including Aisha and Luke. They all shared their lockdown experiences and felt so refreshed and comforted by it, something which they did not felt in a long time. They opened more, all of them shared their heartaches and strengthened each other from God’s word by sharing their Quiet times.
Reaping the fruits
A few months later there was an online training camp for which many students registered including Aisha and Luke. They decided that they will dare to be a disciple of Jesus and they said that these three days spent in the online training were one of the best days of their lockdown.
“What a breathtaking discipleship camp it was!” said Clara one day on a video call with her friends, “thanks for reminding me, Pranay and Vini, that while walking in His steps we should also make sure that we have not left our friends behind.” Pranay and Vinita smiled back at Clara. This video call was special because it was not just the three of them but Aisha and Luke were present there too! With coffee mugs in their hands and thankfulness in their hearts, they kept growing in God’s grace and experienced His love each day as they continued to walk in His steps together.
Written by Stuti Farmer from Dehradun