An Unexpected Encounter

A Snack-Stop and a God-Opportunity to Talk About Faith With a Student

Last January, after a fun evening of playing cards with friends, one friend and I decided to head home because it was getting late. We got on our bikes and headed for downtown Utrecht, in central Holland. On the way, my friend asked if I wanted to stop to have something to drink. We soon found a place that was open, parked our bikes and went inside. We chose a table and sat down for a nice conversation. The next time we looked at the clock  it was 02:00 am!

Now we really needed to head home. We got on our bikes again and started pedaling. About an hour later while we were still riding home, I suggested we stop for a bite to eat. We stopped at an all-night cafeteria and ordered a snack. We found a table next to two other young men, who were enjoying an order of fries. I don’t know anymore who started the conversation, but somehow we found ourselves talking. I took the lead in the conversation, mostly talking with one of the guys. He told me about his studies at university, then he asked me about my job. This is my favorite part about working for Agapè, because this common question opens the door to talking about Jesus. I answered the young man, explaining that I was a student coach who helped people think about the meaning of life and learn about the Christian faith. As soon as I finished, the guy really started talking! It was quite clear that he wasn’t a Christian. To him, Christianity was more of a political choice.

He thought the Bible was a book of fairytales and that Christians needed to try rational thinking.  I listened to his arguments, asking lots of questions to try to understand him better. He also asked me a lot of questions, giving me the opportunity to tell my side of the story. Time seemed to fly, and at some point my friend and I figured we finally needed to get home. That young man didn’t start believing that night, but I hope he remembers something about our conversation.

This night was really special for me. I had just expected a night out with a friend, but I also met a student and had a cool talk about God. In the middle of the city, in the middle of the night, God is still with us, cares for us and cares for students.

Marc Elders, student coach in Holland

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