A vital entity in Québec City, Laval University has been teaching and preparing students for the next phases of life for 350 years. Over 335,000 students have been educated at Laval, and more than 47,000 students were enrolled for fall 2021 – 63% are full-time students; 27% are in graduate programs. The remaining 10% study part-time. 7,000 of those are international students, hailing from 120 different countries. In addition there are more than 9,520 full- or part-time employees, including professors, lecturers, staff, and student workers.
60% of the 1.8km square campus is wooded or greenspace, where students can relax between classes (or even attend class outside!). And all of the 40 buildings are connected by underground tunnels, which are used extensively during winter months. On any given (non-winter) day, you’ll see students biking on the 8km of bike paths, roller blading, walking, running, or gathering with others to chat.
There are about 220 student organizations… but you’d be very hard pressed to find a public Christian presence on campus. Faith-based student organizations are limited. One approved on-campus group is for Catholic students and another is for Protestants. However, other organizations have established relationships with the school. Pouvoir de Changer (Power to Change, or CRU in the States) actively serves students at Laval. We’ve recently heard that they are making changes to their French ministries Canada, which will leave a large gap here in Québec and in Montreal. Another ministry, Maison Impact (or Impact House), serves students through a free weekly meal, prayer times, Bible studies, and regular events.
One of our goals of being in Québec is to serve international university students. So many of them come to this city and then never even set foot in someone’s home. We want to help connect international students with believing families through our local churches so that they can experience the love of Christ. When their time at LU comes to an end, we want them to be able to return home saying, “I know Christ and I want others to know Him, too.” That multiplying discipleship concept is central to our ministry here.
While walking around Laval University during our prayer time yesterday, I realized again how big this task really is. 47,000 students. 7,000 international students. We could go prayer walk every week and never see the same students twice. How are we supposed to start conversations that lead to relationships that lead to Gospel conversations that lead to salvation and discipleship and multiplication?!
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8.31-32
So we’re praying that God will give us:
– Connections and favor at Laval University;
– Endurance to serve faithfully and joyfully in however God leads us to in each moment;
– Deep relationships with international students;
– Churches and believers who want to serve students, too;
– Much fruit from seeds that are planted.
Will you set an alarm and join us in praying on Wednesday mornings at 9:30am (in whatever time zone you find yourself)?
Thank you for praying for our family, our team, and the work God is doing here in Quebec.