Succulents for Jesus

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I know what you’re thinking: ‘what do succulents have to do with Jesus?’. Well, here at our Kansas City chapter, a whole lot. We are currently in our second year on the University of Missouri Kansas City’s (UMKC) campus and therefore still in the groundbreaking process of establishing roots. This year the expansion has been especially blessed by the Lord.

We are currently running two weekly women’s bible studies as well as a bi-weekly men’s program. Many of the students involved with these gatherings were encountered through our monthly campus-outreach events, which consist of being on campus as missionaries and student leaders. There, we hand out something pleasant and share with students the many ways they can get more involved in their faith through Saint Paul’s Outreach. Along with whatever item we’re handing out, we have either a sticker or flyer with our meeting times and contact information.

In the past we’ve handed out coffee, popcorn on national popcorn day (a true holiday), and this month we passed out succulent plants to celebrate the first day of spring. In this week alone, we encountered over 100 students thanks to these little plants. The students’ interest levels varied but through this event we got our name out there and further established an on-campus presence. 

UMKC is heavily populated by commuters and seriously lacking in community life on campus. Students walk from their cars or dorms to class with headphones plugged in, avoiding eye contact, and appear dazed and confused by a stranger’s smile. Yet on Succulent Day there was a joy I’ve never seen. The hope that tiny green plants instill with their very nature -their prospect of growth and life- was visible by each passerby. Many students stopped for extended periods of time just to converse, entering into discussions of faith or just engaging in small talk. This hopefully planted the seeds of interest in these students through witnessing Christian sincerity and love. These small conversations have been the start of many fruitful relationships. I look forward to discovering how ‘the pebble in their shoe’, namely, the unshakeable memory of such an encounter, has sparked their truly adventurous journey with the Lord.