10 Ways to Use Your College Break to Reach Others for Christ

Your car is packed, the fridge is empty, and you’re longing to turn in that last paper so you can finally head home for Christmas. But don’t leave your passion for missions behind with your books. As you prepare to make the trek home for some much-needed rest and home-cooked meals, consider these opportunities that await you in between semesters:

  1. Invite friends without plans home for Christmas or part of your break. Offer internationals, friends with different backgrounds, and missionary kids a place to celebrate the birth of Christ. Ask about their traditions and introduce them to yours. Show hospitality. Seek out opportunities for you and your family to continue to build authentic friendships with them.
  2. Spend time with family members, looking for open doors to share the gospel with those who have yet to believe. Pray for good conversations and opportunities to point those you may or may not see often to the good news of Christ.
  3. Bake treats for those working on Christmas eve or Christmas Day. Share your homemade goods with emergency room staff, firefighters, police officers, and dispatch office workers, among others. Thank them for working to help others during the holidays. Offer a message of peace, hope, and joy that the true meaning of Christmas brings.
  4. Plan to meet up with those you haven’t seen in a while from your hometown. Invite a couple from your home church or a group of high school friends out to dinner or coffee. Listen to their stories and encourage them to begin or continue seeking God’s direction for their lives. Share what God is doing in your life now.
  5. Learn about needs, and then learn some serious skills. Do you know of any needs but have been hesitant to meet them because of your lack of ability? Use this time away from school to learn to knit hats for preemies in local hospitals, build bookshelves for a local literacy program, create paper flower designs or cards to distribute to nursing home residents, or perfect a homemade sugar scrub recipe and deliver the finished products to a local women’s shelter. Ask if anyone in your family could help you hone some helpful skills and include him or her in your missions endeavors.
  6. Look for short-term missions opportunities. Check out some Habitat for Humanity projects nearby, spend time with residents of a nursing home who may not have a lot of visitors, or take a meal to a family in need. Keep your eyes and ears open to the needs the Holy Spirit is nudging you to meet, and share the good news as you feel led.
  7. Make New Year’s plans with internationals. Celebrate the New Year as the clock strikes 12 in their home time zone as well as yours. Ask them about their home culture and holiday traditions. Do you share any common ground? Continue to pursue these conversations.
  8. Keep in touch with your college friends and organize a missions project together when you get back to campus. As you plan ahead, are there any extra items at home you may need to pick up for the project?
  9. Provide for missionaries’ needs overseas. You may not be able to buy medical equipment, livestock, or a vehicle with 4-wheel drive by yourself, but by giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, you can contribute to the gifts that provide such essential items for the ministry of those God has called overseas. International Mission Board missionaries receive 100% of the offering to aid them in their kingdom work.
  10. Write encouraging notes to missionaries here at home. Find missionaries near you or those across the country by using the North American Mission Board’s Missionary Directory. Contact them and introduce yourself. Ask if they have any prayer requests, and then pray for them. Encourage these servants through emails, video chats, or old-fashioned letters. Keep in contact with them throughout the year and pray for them regularly.

As you celebrate the joy of the Savior’s birth during the next few weeks, look for the opportunities God is drawing you toward to point someone else to the eternal hope you have in Christ. What better gift could you offer this year?

Cara Brown is a copy editor for WMU. She is thankful for the patient hands that taught her to knit hats for patients at the children’s hospital during her college breaks.

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