“Are there any areas of life that seem uncertain to you?” Campus Crusade staff guy, Darrin, asked a junior math major while doing a survey. “No, science has answered everything,” responded the student. This type of interaction is typical of university students in Montpellier, France.
Yet at times, evidence of God at work crops up. Last spring, Stinters Claire and Laura asked a group of women what they thought happens to a person after death. “I hope there’s something,” one student spoke up. “I can’t imagine it being nothingness, but I don’t know what that something is.”
In addition to trainings and Bible studies for our involved believers, our team seeks to keep stirring the pot and asking questions about what that something is. We launched a midday English club at a campus dining hall to gain contacts and organized a bi-weekly outreach dubbed the Thé-O show (short for “théologie,” Théo is also a popular male name). A restaurant next to campus welcomes us into their backroom as a gathering place to discuss topics of concern to French students, most recently religion and politics.
As the ninth largest city in France, the diverse population includes 80,000 students. Like many French universities, the campus in Montpellier is spread throughout the city with different disciplines situated in different corners of town. Fortunately, a reliable and frequent tramway and bus system offer good connections, with bicycles and motor scooters abounding as well.
Many of the local pastors are encouraged by Campus Crusade’s presence as they desire to reach out to the campus, but often lack the resources to do it. Several churches have partnered with us, offering use of their facilities for meetings and outreaches, even speaking at our weekly meetings. Members of one enthusiastic congregation joined summer project students on campus to do evangelism together!