As many elementary and secondary students go back to school next week, many college students have already returned to their studies at universities across the United States.
With 40,000 students, the University of Houston is the 4th largest university in Texas and a sizable mission field for LINC Houston to reach. The makeup is a multi-ethnic milieu with 12.1% African American; 19.3% Asian; 0.3% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; 23.5% Hispanic; 8.5% International; 2.2% Multiracial; 0.3% Native American and 33.1% Caucasian.
Underscoring LINC's mission to reach the nations both locally and globally Mission Director Rev. David Kim said, "ministry at UofH is important because of the Great Commission."
"The target of this ministry is every person that is lost and every person that is saved. The lost are invited to trust and put their faith in Jesus Christ as they hear the Gospel. The saved are invited to get involved and to impact their communities, which for many of these students, begins on campus," he said.
The end goal is that when these students return to their communities, states, and home countries, they live out their missionary calling.
This year the LINC Houston campus ministry will include weekly Bible studies, Sunday night worship services, hosting monthly luncheons, hosting international students in mission congregations and partner churches, pastoral counseling and ongoing mentoring and discipleship.
Dr. Johnson Petta, who will be spearheading the ministry on campus said, "There are few mission contexts that can match the kinds of opportunities as well as challenges that this campus presents."
"The Lutheran Campus Ministry was established to serve the people of this university, specifically in the areas of the spiritual needs and challenges that arise in the context of academic life and learning," he shared.
Dr. Petta apperceives the stress of student life, teaching and doing ministry on campus. He sees how busy students are, how much they are looking for connections and community and also the demands of their spiritual, physical, emotional and moral decisions. Therefore, his aim is to provide holistic ministry sharing the Gospel, offering spiritual mentorship, community building opportunities, pastoral counseling and theological education.
He said, "Our missiological focus is to invite people of this academic community to discern and make an honest response to the call of God in their own lives. While it seeks to keep this evangelical focus as central to its mission and purpose, it also strives to build an authentic faith community rooted in God’s word and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in the academic context."
To support this ministry with prayer, finances or volunteering, please contact Rev. David Kim.