On enrollment day, I was walking out of the Law Annex, feeling lost and dejected. Sydney University is an enormous campus and I was not used to feeling so unknown. Where I came from, I was a big fish in a tiny pond. Anyway, I came across two good looking young people behind a table with a sign that read ‘Find Jesus at Uni’. I had grown up in a Christian family, so I stopped to chat.
Q. In what capacity is your involvement?
Since April 2013, I’ve been running the online platforms for Student Life at the University of Sydney. That takes various forms, but mostly it means I keep the Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/USYDStudentLife) and blog spaces from imploding on themselves. I write most of the blogs you’d read here. But I’m not just a computer, I promise you – I am a full bodied human being, and I do appear in physical form, from time-to-time at meetings (you are forgiven for mistaking me with Tina Fey).
Q. What do you hope to achieve by working with Student Life?
I want to integrate the online world with its physical counterpart. Unfortunately – or rather fortunately for my line of work – online platforms are now overtaking face-to-face contact in terms of the way we develop first impressions. I want to make USYD Student Life’s online interactions as meaningful and involved as their campus outreaches. A practical step for achieving this would be to get more students involved with content making for the Facebook and blog, maybe even beginning a Twitter in the new future. Ultimately, the goal is to touch everyone at the University of Sydney with the Good News, and use every forum which students engage with – including social media.
Q. What is the best thing about working with Student Life online?
Basically, my involvement with Student Life is reciprocal. It gives me valuable experience in the world of maintaining online media and I get real contact with fellow Christians who genuinely care for me spiritually. The best thing about my position, is the emails I receive from all around the world, people touched by our message and wanting more. It’s so encouraging when people tell me their interstate parents are loving what we’re doing online, or when someone rocks up to our meetings and says ‘hey, I saw what you wrote online and thought I’d pop by’. God can use everything! Even social media.
Q. Tell us about the hurdles you have been able to overcome in order to reach students for Christ?
It may come as an enormous shock considering how vocal I am online, but I’m actually very shy. I don’t like talking to strangers. Student Life’s mission outreaches and what we call ‘Salt Hour’ evangelism is really helping me to overcome my shyness and defend my faith in a succinct, approachable way. Student Life is smoothing out my prickly bits (not a euphemism!)
Q. What is the most inspiring Bible passage you cling to? Why does it speak to you so much?
I love the book of Job. I think Job 40 is the passage I keep coming back to. In particular, Job 40:2 “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer!” It’s a fearful truth, but one I need to be reminded of. Often times, when I am witnessing to my friends, I take personal offence when the tell me my faith makes me look stupid, or my beliefs are ignorant or wrong. As a journalist, it is an affront to hear that I am wrong, when I know that I am right, but I cannot convince them of the Truth. But ultimately, who they are accusing of lying is not me, but the Almighty God I worship. So the pressure is off me, and replaced by eternal sadness for that person’s dismissive unbelief. It’s all in God’s hands and He is who they will answer.