A Christian Union Transformed
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Posted on: 8th March 2023
Leeds University Christian Union (CU) has previously struggled to be a place where international students feel truly at home. In September 2021 even after a successful outreach in international Welcome Week, few Christian international students stayed in the mostly British CU. The international students who did stay described the CU as “cliquey with a clear divide between old and new members” and “hard to get into their circles, no international students are involved in doing anything in the CU.”
However, there has been an exciting transformation in the last 12 months! Now, there are far more international students part of the CU, making up 30-40% of the society! They describe the CU as being "far more welcoming and friendly”. International students have a much bigger role in CU life, with one international saying “it’s easier for internationals to get involved, during the recent CU Events Week there were loads of international students volunteering, doing stuff, welcoming others in.”
This increased involvement, along with British CU members becoming more confident in speaking to international students, meant that international students (non-Christians) were by far the largest group at the recent Events Week evangelistic talks. International students made up ⅔ of the audiences, with over 200 attending in total! Incredible! We’ve never seen this before in 20 years of international ministry in Leeds!!
We thank God for being able to be part of this transformation, along with UCCF, through the training sessions Laura has done with the CU, her mentoring of key leaders and helping CU students see the fun and strategic nature of international outreach through our weekly event The Living Room.