Yesterday was my 29th birthday. Being twenty-nine doesn't stand out much, it seems more like "almost 30". But yesterday stands out for a couple of reasons. First of all I didn't wake up in my apartment on my birthday. Before you come up with any strange ideas, there is a good explanation... A good way to break up the regular routine of life is to do something dumb, so I locked myself out of my apartment and ended up sleeping at the hotel with the summer project. I have broken into every other place I have lived at, but this one is impenetrable. Which is good news overall.
Yesterday also stands out for how people celebrated my birthday. At our final staff meeting in the morning I was greeted with various versions of birthday songs, gifts and a cake. My good friend Christian invited me to lunch at one of the few authentic Mexican restaurants in Santiago. Christian and I lived in Mexico together for a year and a half when I came on staff with Crusade.
Later in the evening we had a party for students to close out the summer project. It was exciting to see so many students come. We rented out a whole bowling alley and overfilled the place. Later we all had dinner together and invited students to come to our winter conference. Twenty five signed up! Many of them are students that we have been getting to know all semester. Personally I was surprised that several students brought me gifts and encouraged me by their kindness. We have been praying for and loving students, and it is awesome to see that God is giving them a love for us as well. As this sense of community builds we are also beginning to see students make decisions to follow Christ. Many of the students come to Vida Estudiantil with a few friends. It is our desire that God would spark movements of evangelism among these friends and that this would expand to the rest of their classmates on campus. We dream of the day when every student will know someone who truly follows Jesus.