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All it Took Was a Hailstorm

EuroSTINT leaves Malta with a new student leader on campus

The EuroSTINT team has had a lot of
adventures over the past few months.
This final report shares the team's recent
success in Malta,  where an unexpected
interruption opened the door to identifying
a new student leader.

We’re almost ready to leave Malta, and we have reason to rejoice: We have found a Maltese student who is willing to lead the Agape ministry at her university!

But let me tell you the whole story…

Our first Saturday in Malta, Charmaine (our local contact person in Malta) took us to a meeting of a Christian youth group called Youth For Jesus (Y4J). There, we met many Christian students, but they were very busy studying for their exams. We didn’t have a chance to meet them on campus during the following weeks.

Two weeks later, we went back to the Y4J meeting (1 hour late because we got lost…but well, that’s another story. Ah, the joys of being a foreigner). This time, I had an opportunity to explain the EuroSTINT process and invite them to meet us. Only one student showed interest in meeting with us to learn more about Agape. Nevertheless, this meeting gave us the opportunity to get to know the students of the group a bit better, especially one girl named Marie Claire. She shared with me that she felt that the Lord was preparing her for something, although she still didn’t know what it was exactly.

On Monday, January 26th, we began our last week in Malta. In Corsica, Sicily and Cyprus, we had identified a student leader much earlier, so we had time to equip and train him/her. This time, we had no idea who would take the lead! Our only hope was that a volunteer couple would accept this challenge, but this was not an ideal solution. We really felt that we were in a spiritual battle: Tero was sick, I had bad dreams and a heavy sadness, and the girls were tired and a bit unmotivated. But we were thankful because our weakness led us to pray more and surrender to God’s will. So, when we went on campus, we felt freer and less burdened. In the afternoon, something quite unique happened: a hail storm passed over Malta.

Students who had never seen snow before thought this was the end of the world! The university was all white, completely covered with hail. Loulou and I found ourselves stuck in the cafeteria, waiting for it to stop. Loulou noticed that Marie Claire was also in the cafeteria, so we went to talk to her and she agreed to go through the Soularium questions. She enjoyed doing that and was impressed by how much can be said just with pictures and questions. She told me that she admired us for being able to walk up to people and ask them question, but added “I don’t think I’d be able to do it.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday, she came with me to talk with the students on campus! She was scared, but also excited. Later, she wrote to me on FB “it was a fantastic experience and it’s really reignited my passion for Jesus…you know like the initial excitement you feel when you first start being a Christian!

After this experience, she asked God if starting Agape in Malta was His plan for her. We met again on Friday and this time she also initiated the discussions, actively took part in them and shared her faith. I just watched, amazed at how God talked to her and through her!

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