“A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…” Proverbs 13:19 (NKJV)
The “Berkeley Blitz” has officially ended.
Almost three weeks of daily, bold and unashamed evangelism was concentrated on the liberal campus of UC Berkeley.
The results far exceeded my expectations, so much that I am planning on extending my stay here in Oakland for at least another month. I believe the Lord showed up, answered some prayers, and blessed our efforts.
I have seen an increased fire for evangelism being fanned into flames, with Berkeley students becoming more enthusiastic for sharing their faith in Jesus with their fellow collegiates. It has been remarkable in many respects.
There is a vibrant and growing community of believers on the campus, something I never expected to see in such an ungodly place. And what has been even more surprising is that the vast majority of these young, passionate believers that I met are Asian.
(Above photo: Asian Christian students from a local church being bold for their faith in front of famous Sproul Hall, the place where the Free Speech Movement started in 1964.)
They come from exotic places like Hong Kong, China, South Korea…and not so exotic Los Angeles. Some were born overseas and others here in the States. They bring a freshness, respect and seriousness to Christianity that I have not often seen in their Anglo counterparts.
(Above photo: Arnold, from Hong Kong (holding Bible), witnessing to another student (middle). Matthew (left) is another Christian joining in on the conversation.)
I have been stunned by their respect towards me. For example, I previously blogged on a lunch that I had with three believing Asian students. The restaurant where we ate was a place you order your food at the counter and then find yourself a table. When the meal is ready, you are called and return to the counter.
When my order was called out, I was in the bathroom and didn’t hear it. When I exited and went to our table, my bowl of duck soup was waiting for me along with a glass of water, my silverware and napkins; one or more of the Asian students had done this for me.
This act of respect and kindness stunned me. In all my years of ministry and dealing with predominantly Anglo students, I cannot recall this happening to me before.
For our evangelism meeting on campus where eleven of us ministered together, a female Asian student, Rachel, whom we had just met that morning, came to the group with four large Gatorades in her arms and handed them out. I was blessed with one of them.
An hour or so later, Kali, a Russian, gave me a bottle of water. Several days later, another Asian student walked by and handed me a Korean pastry. Elizabeth, another Asian student, wrote a poem for me.
Arnold, a student from Hong Kong, bought me lunch. Vieng Wong, co-pastor of the campus fellowship “In Christ Alone,” bought me lunch twice and invited me to his home for dinner.
Looking back on these incidents, it all becomes somewhat surreal. I have had kindness, generosity and respect poured upon my life like few times before. This alone would make me want to return to Berkeley on a permanent level. Compared to what is happening here, Tucson is a dry and barren desert.
The difference between the Asian and Anglo students are startling. I grew weary years ago with the disrespect and immaturity of Anglo university and college students. College was at one time a place of serious preparation for life, but has been reduced, on many campuses, to just another playground for young men and women who have yet to grow up.
My sudden immersion into a university environment where Asians command a large percentage of the student body has been an unexpected breath of fresh air. And I must admit that I prefer the oftentimes serious and sober demeanor of the Asian students far above the usual tomfoolery of your average Anglo one.
So much happened at UC Berkeley that it is hard to process, but the experience was so positive and uplifting that I will prolong my stay for at least another month. I covet your prayers as I seek the Lord’s will for further direction.
(I’m sitting with Teddy (middle) and his friend Freddie at UC Berkeley, ready to have a bible study.)