French connections: Bringing Christ to university students in Grenoble

French connections: Bringing Christ to university students in Grenoble
Ruth McGarvey Mission partner with UFM Worldwide.
15 February, 2024 4 min read

Monday evening snapshot

It’s 6:00 on a Monday evening and most French students are making the journey home after a long, hard day at university. They are longing for those few minutes when they can simply sit down and chill out. Their academic day has drawn to a close and they are awaiting those few well-earned moments of blissful silence before they contemplate engaging their brain again for the evening.

Not so at the Foyer Evangélique Universitaire in Grenoble, southeastern France! At 6 p.m. every Monday, things are just getting started. The doors are opened and a group of dedicated students are beginning the task of cooking dinner for fellow hungry students who will soon be strolling through the doors in expectation of another hearty meal.

Like clockwork, by 7 p.m. the lettuce is washed, the pasta is cooked, the dessert is prepared, and we are ready for action. Noise levels gradually increase throughout the meal as cutlery clinks against plates and laughter resounds throughout the living room. The buzz is tangible as students, who have learned that the FEU is a place where they are welcome, share stories about their week across the table with both old and new friends.

Once bellies are filled, the dishes are promptly dealt with and the room is set up for stage two of the evening. Seats are set out in rows, couches are correctly positioned for maximum comfort, and the announcements for the week are given. ‘Outreach in the university halls next Thursday evening!’; ‘Food bank needs some chatty volunteers!’; ‘Chinese cultural evening – invite your friends!’; ‘Forms are due in for the weekend away!’; ‘Apologetics training next Saturday morning – be there!’ Just from the announcements, we can all sense that the week ahead is going to be a good one.

As announcements draw to a close, a generally nervous student leader opens up a Bible and introduces us to a passage. Some among those present are Christians, some are not, but both are there of their own accord because they are eager to hear what God has to say to them.

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