Often, believing parents experience the double angst of sending their child off to college AND releasing them in hopes that they will continue to walk in their faith. For many, there exists the concern that one’s young adult child, when plucked out of his family and worship community and caught up in his new life on campus, will not follow the Lord or seek out fellowship. For Jewish believers, there is no assurance that any messianic fellowship at all will exist on their child’s campus.
However, we can continue to have input into our children’s spiritual lives even when they are no longer living at home. Here are some suggestions for how to continue ministry to them across the miles:
- Pray, pray and pray some more! Develop an e-mail prayer network among parents of other college students you may know. Let your child know that you’re praying.
- Before your freshmen leave home, ask them to make it a priority to find a place to worship within the first few weeks of school. Gently keep reminding” them until they do.
- Help your child research messianic congregations, churches and campus Christian groups in advance.
- Ask believing friends to stay in touch with your child. A congregation can reach out to its college students through mail, phone or care packages.
- Welcome your child’s roommate home for Passover. Send a small hanukkiah and candles at Hanukkah, with enough small, wrapped gifts for the two of them. Bake some hamantaschen as a Purim care package.
- If your child’s school is within a four-hour radius of a Jews for Jesus branch or co-laborer (volunteer worker), we can stay in touch through occasional visits, phone calls or perhaps even invitations to dinner. We may also be able to put them in touch with Jewish believers in their area, so send us your college student’s info.
- Encourage your child to take advantage of summer ministry opportunities; this is a great way to fortify one’s faith. Jews for Jesus has opportunities for summer internships, camp counselor positions, campaign and other short-term mission assignments; other ministries offer these as well.
Be encouraged: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He that hath begun a good work in you, will continue it until the day of Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 1:6). As your child was growing up, God helped you to lay a good foundation; now trust Him to do the rest!