Story by Alice D.
This semester, Macquarie did something quite different from the other universities. We are in the middle of Kickstart, a week for first-year and international students. O Week, with all the clubs and stalls, begins the following week.
I think Kickstart is great for new students because it has a clearer focus. It shows students what is where and gives them tips on university life.
There is so much energy around campus at the moment! New students are looking forward to making friends and connecting with each other. For instance, yesterday I was talking to one student when another came over to get a pack. They ended up introducing themselves to each other and had a great conversation. It was wonderful to see.
A great aspect of Kickstart is that local churches donate ‘care packs’ for us to hand out to new students that we connect with. The care packs contain packets of chips, flyers about Power to Change and details of upcoming activities. There is also a QR code if students want to get in contact.
The churches supplied 225 care packs. But they were so popular that, on the first morning, we’d given away half the packs and 100 students had contacted us. I called the churches and they supplied another 180 packs overnight.
The week is also packed with other events. On Wednesday nights we have Bible study, which is geared toward both Christians and those who are seeking. On Thursday we are holding our first Worship and Prayer Evening for Power to Change students and their friends, to sing and pray together. Depending on how that goes, it will hopefully become a regular thing.
One event that has been going for a number of years is our Monday Family Dinner. We’re so grateful for all the help we receive from churches for this. Some of the Asian “aunties” from local churches love to cook for us. (On Tuesdays we have a lunch with more food prepared by the aunties. They’re amazing!)
Family Dinner is for all students, from different backgrounds, and is like a home away from home. Our aim is to create a community that helps the students feel that this is home. Usually, we also try to get one Christian to share their testimony.
The students love Family Dinner. Some who don‘t have faith in Christ keep coming, even during exam time. They say, “this is my home”, and they keep coming even when they are busy.
I am really excited for this coming year, and look forward to seeing how God will use myself and the team for His glory.