The fall semester is back in full swing as classes started back up at the University of South Florida St. Pete campus this week. For St. Petersburg College, classes have been back in full swing now for two weeks. However, this semester is looking significantly different than normal as college campuses across the globe are making adjustments to safely implement their education systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the USFSP campus, classes are being held both in-person and online. Masks must be worn inside at all times, resident students are back in the dorms at 50% capacity and the library has reduced hours. Only students and faculty will be allowed inside campus buildings so IDs must be kept handy.
At the SPC campus, most classes are being held online with a portion of them being in-person and masks must be worn inside at all times. Student services will be limited and campus hours will be shortened.
Of course, open campuses do not necessarily mean all social amenities will be as easily accessible. For USFSP, all clubs are currently not allowed to host any group events on campus, which especially creates some tricky obstacles for CoMission. While we are hosting virtual tabling events two days a week for these first two weeks of the semester through Microsoft Teams, connecting with students through this outlet hasn't been the most productive. However, our staff are doing everything else possible to reach out to students through social media and instead of waiting for them to come to us, we have implemented the method of going to them by directly contacting each student individually through private instant messages on Facebook and Instagram. How have we found them? By searching every campus's social media group page in existence. The results of this and one connection through the first week of tabling have resulted in a handful of gospel appointments so far. After all, Jesus didn't wait for his disciples to find him. He found them, invited them to join him and they "immediately left...and followed Him." (Matthew 4:20 & 22) Now, whether any students respond and express an interest, or better yet a desire, to join in Christ's mission with us is fully up to the power of the Holy Spirit but we're trusting that He's going to do a great work this semester, even if it's just through a few.
I serve with CoMission full-time as the Executive Assistant. My role includes everything from bookkeeping to proofreading and now keeping this blog so you, our family of missionary servants, can stay updated on our latest happenings. Love y'all and hope y'all find this blog informative and encouraging.