“They were so encouraged to hear about why we were in Iceland and were eager to join us and learn more about P2C!” – Mandy H
Back in January, when we first read about the opportunity to go to Iceland, I don’t think anyone imagined all that God would do!
The team gathered at Pearson International Airport on Thursday, February 16. After a smooth flight, and an hour long bus ride, we were in Reykjavik bright and early on Friday morning!
Meet Nathan, Daniel, Brian, Merlyn, and Jessica. If you’re looking for travelling buddies, they come highly recommended!
Our One Week Mission Goal
Our goal for the week was simple—do all that we could to support and help Erika get the a campus ministry going on her campus. Erika is a student at the University of Iceland who, back in November, had committed to being a student leader for the ministry on her campus—but she was doing it all alone. When we received the invitation to join her, we whole-heartedly accepted.
Our hope for the week was to join with her to reach her campus, and to maybe help find some more Christian students to join her.
A Little Icelandic Campus Ministry History
Iceland has received two short-term international teams (from Europe) over the years—teams visiting for six weeks to see if a ministry could be started on the campus. Many students had engaged with these teams, and loved having them there, but things never took off.
Challenging Students To Mission
Our first event on Monday night (photo below) was designed to connect with these previously contacted Christian students. We wanted to meet with them and give them the chance to hear full-time Canadian university students share why they prioritize being involved in missions on their campuses back home.
Boy were they inspiring!
Merlyn, Dan, Jessica, and Nathan shared so genuinely of their love for Christ and for their campus, giving a great invitation to those students to give it a shot for themselves. The challenge given was for the Reykjavik students to joining us in evangelism on their campus that week.
By the end of the night, more than half of the students that attended agreed to come and join us at some point during the week! We were blown away!
Planning A Birthday Party
The same day, while Brian and I were out meeting and chatting with students on campus, we met Bisharo. She, by far, is one of the most inspiring students I’ve ever met.
She arrived in Iceland from Somalia six weeks earlier to start her Masters degree in Gender Equality with the United Nations—all without any support from her family or friends back home. She sees a problem with the world, and, in her words, is “willing to make the sacrifices it will take to see it change.”
In our very short interaction, Bisharo told us that her birthday was on the upcoming Wednesday and that she’d never had a birthday party before. Without any hesitation, Brian and I offered to host a party and she was thrilled!
“Without any hesitation, Brian and I offered to host a party and she was thrilled!” – Mandy H
On Wednesday, during our time on campus, Merlyn and Brian went out to meet students. Together they met Walaa and Harriet, who also happened to be in the Gender Equality Masters program and good friends with Bisharo. Brian mentioned the party we were hosting for Bisharo, and right away both of these girls jumped to action, baking a cake, booking a space, decorating, and inviting everyone that Bisharo knows on campus.
We didn’t have any expectations or hopes for this party, other than the chance to bless Bisharo, but God had more in mind as we discovered that almost half of the people at the party were Christians from all over Africa!
They were so encouraged to hear about why we were in Iceland and were eager to join us and learn more about P2C!
The Next Phase Of Ministry At The University of Iceland
So what happened as we did ministry with all of these students?
Well, the most significant thing was to see these University of Iceland students gain a vision for what their role might be in the fulfillment of the Great Commission by making disciples on their campus. To see them learn and experience that evangelism doesn’t need to be awkward, weird, and uncomfortable, but that it can be done with love, respect, and compassion.
Not only that, but Erika is no longer alone, but has a team to work with! Hanna, Disa, Nicole, Marie, and Kevin have all agreed to join Erica as leaders of the student ministry at the University of Iceland! In addition there are also another seven students who are eager to be involved with the group!
We can’t say it enough: thank you for sending us to see what God might do in Iceland!
Photos by Mandy H
By Mandy H
Mandy has served with Power to Change students for eight years. This is her sixth year at University of Guelph where she is a team leader. Mandy loves going on mission trips and has gone many times to the UK and East Asia. Mandy just got married this year. She loves adventuring with others—camping, road trips, seeing and discovering new places!