This semester, we have let our students take more control and responsibility for the Baptist Student Ministry at Texas Woman’s University. They have done a great job.
Three student leaders planned an event they called “Love Encounter.” Two of them, Savannah and Krystal, are new to our leadership, and the third is our president, Brittany.
We had no idea what to expect. When we arrived at the BSM, the lights were dim—tea lights and Christmas lights all over to change the atmosphere a bit.
There were three parts to the Love Encounter. In the first part, students paired off, and then half of the students were blindfolded, and the other half yelled directions to a blindfolded teammate. Once the ones blindfolded made their way to a table, they had to move cotton balls that weigh almost nothing with a plastic spoon from one bowl to another, following instructions from their teammate.
Elizabeth, a junior at TWU, said: “It was hard to follow the voice of my partner, because so many other voices distracted me. It showed me how it is hard to hear God’s voice with so many distractions around us”
The game offered an added benefit. One of our students is blind. So, it was an opportunity to be able to relate to her and for her to be super-involved in a game and be good at it.
The second part was about forgiveness. Students divided into two teams. Each person had a balloon, and they wrote on it something they needed to be forgiven of. The team that popped all the other team’s balloons first won. Whenever a student popped a balloon that belonged to someone on the other team, she had to say, “I forgive you.”
Savannah, a freshman at TBU said, “I learned how quickly forgiveness could work when it’s spoken and your hurt is out in the open.”
In the third part, each person received a blank piece of paper and wrote down at least five things that they didn’t like about themselves. The paper was taped on our backs face down, with the blank side up. Then we went around writing encouragement on the sheets taped to the back of other students, specifically mentioning something we like about that person.
I was involved in this activity. It was eye-opening to see that some of the things we didn’t like about ourselves are what other people liked. It was also just really encouraging for me to hear how my students looked up to me.
Love encounter was a lot different than what I expected, but we were all able to feel God’s love through his guidance, forgiveness and encouragement.
All in all this gave students an opportunity to take responsibility to share the love of Jesus with others and use their creativity to do so. It brought us closer together, opened doors to love on new people and gave everyone an opportunity to have fun.
Sharel Kaye Bratcher is serving as a campus missionary intern at Texas Woman’s University in Denton through Go Now Missions.