“Go south to the road – the desert road – that leads down from Jerusalem,” he was told. When Philip went, he met the Ethiopian man who was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
“Go to that chariot and stay near it,” the angel directed. When Philip did so, he asked a very important question – “Do you understand what you are reading?”
The Ethiopian’s answer was straightforward: “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” Philip used the very passage the Ethiopian was reading, from Isaiah 53 (“he was led like a sheep to the slaughter”) to tell the good news about Jesus. Ultimately, the Ethiopian was baptized on that desert road.
At Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel in Madison, WI, our doors are open to all students on the Madison campuses. There are many occasions that remind us of the story of Philip and the Ethiopian. Students enter our building not knowing exactly what they are seeking, and the Lord gives us the privilege of being the ones who explain the good news about Jesus to them.
Last fall, one such student arrived at the Chapel, seeking answers about God’s Word. Through several contacts with the Word, the seed of gospel truth was planted and watered, and God made it grow.
In late October, Manaporn “Mint” Phaosricharoen was baptized – but not in our Chapel. She requested the opportunity to be immersed because that picture of washing away sins was important to her. So we braved the wind and chilly temperatures and entered the brisk waters of Lake Mendota for Mint to receive the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
The power of God’s Word is truly amazing. The opportunities God presents to share the power of that Word are equally amazing. Mint came to us seeking answers, needing someone to explain to her the truth of the gospel. God placed the Chapel in the right place and at the right time to offer her the answers for which she was searching.
Campus Ministry opportunities aren’t limited to the Madison area. At colleges throughout the country, our campus pastors delight in the opportunities God gives them to witness to young adults who are searching for what is truly important. “Unless someone explains it” could be said by many of them. Campus pastors continue to plant and water seeds with the Word of God, trusting that God, who works powerfully through his Word, will make those seeds grow.
Sometimes, God gives the special privilege of wading into an icy lake to baptize one of them!
Written By: Campus Pastor Jon Bilitz, Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel – Madison, WI
Thank you for your prayers and support for Campus Ministry. If you know a college student that seeks to be connected to the nearest ministry to his or her campus, please visit campusministry.welsrc.net.
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