Kelsi Goudeau, Southwest Mississippi Community College
This week we conducted a spiritual survey on campus called Soularium. Soularium is an evangelical tool used to give us an insight into people's personal and spiritual aspects of their lives and gives us an idea of their concept of God. It leaves them thinking of/considering ideas they may have never even heard of before. In each Soularium set, there are cards with random pictures on them: money, a bird, a married couple, a rope, a staircase, and a silverware set are some of the items pictured.
When a person stops and agrees to take part in the survey, we ask them five questions:
1. Which 3 photos would you use to describe your life right now?
2. Which 3 photos would you like your life to look like in the future?
3. Which photo represents who God is to you and if you don't believe in God, which pictures represent your view/idea of God?
4. Which 3 photos represent your spiritual journey up to this point in your life?
5. Which 3 photos represent what you would like your spiritual journey to look like?
Through asking these questions, we're allowed a window into the soul of a human who may have never heard of God or ever really thought about their spiritual journey/eternity. These questions were hard, and the responses were heartbreaking. We heard things like:
"Do I have to pick a picture if I don't believe in God?"
"I don't believe there is a God, but I'm at peace in my spiritual journey."
"My mom was religious, but she didn't really follow through with it so I never thought it was a big deal."
"I find it hard to believe in God because of all the suffering I see around me."
"I'm really confused because I've never even thought about this."
Thirteen out of the fourteen people we interviewed had answers along these lines, which can make for a discouraging three hours. So we took a moment and prayed, "God, we praise you for the next person who stops here to take this survey. Thank you for their life. Amen." A simple prayer in faith. We didn’t know who the next person would be. Maybe somebody that did believe in God and just needed one more encounter for it to all click? Or maybe somebody who had never heard of Jesus and would come to know of His love and pray to receive Christ? Or maybe one more person who thought the God of the Bible was a fairytale?
A few minutes later, a girl walked past and even though she appeared to be in a hurry we asked her to take part anyway. She obliged and sat down with us. She was wearing a cross necklace. We began to ask her the questions, and before she even knew what the point of the survey was or our beliefs, she quickly informed us that she indeed was a Christian and that she felt like her purpose in life was to share the Word of God with everyone around her! We began to chat with her about how she came to know Christ and how difficult it was for her to live in a city where .04% of the population claim to be evangelical Christians. She went on to explain that she actually attended a different university in the city, but came to SFU once a week to attend a co-op class. Meeting her was literally a once in a lifetime opportunity! We then exchanged contact info, and she seemed very interested in getting to know us.
All I could do in that moment was praise God for hearing our prayer and sending us a person of peace – a dose of encouragement and hope. Please pray for her, that she would live out the love that she has received from Jesus and that she would allow nothing to move her or shake her faith, even in a non-Christian society.
Many other incredible things happened this week, and God is continuing to show me how important our obedience to His call really is. Please continue to pray for the relationships our team has made with people who love God and with people who do not yet know Him. Pray for opportunities to love on my neighbors here and also as I return home in just a few weeks.