Students – Persevering in the Pursuit of Justice

We are interrupting our Lent series that is following along with the Prayer Course II and Lectio 365 to share this inspiring update from Just Love in Scotland. We as 24-7 Prayer Scotland have had the immense privilege of working with Just Love in various contexts here in Scotland over the years and we would love for you to join us in praying for our amazing students as they pursue God and his heart for justice in our world while navigating the challenges of Covid-19.

As cliche as the phrase has become, these certainly are “strange times” to be at university. Christian students might have been forgiven for taking their foot off the pedal when it comes to living out their faith. Amazingly, our students in Just Love have not allowed this pandemic to prevent them pursuing justice all around the UK. We’ve been humbled by the way they’ve continued to volunteer in their local communities, run awareness-raising events, and fundraise for effective charities. We passionately believe that to pursue God’s heart is to pursue social justice, and our students have been living that out. 

We have 5 groups across cities in Scotland, and 19 across England. Whilst local volunteering is more challenging at this time, last term Just Love students in Edinburgh were able to volunteer with Safe Families, providing hope and support for children and families, and with Through the Roof, advocating for people with disabilities. The St Andrews students ran events on “God and Mental Health,” “Period Poverty,” and a Q&A with Krish Kandiah on fostering and adoption. The students in Glasgow have spent time focusing on long-term, structural solutions to homelessness as well as the immediate support they can offer. 

Across the Tay Road Bridge, Just Love Dundee have examined issues such as racism, homelessness, and drug crises. Further north, the group in Aberdeen have investigated what it looks like for us to pursue God’s justice with our whole lives, including our careers. Both groups have lent their energy to fundraising and awareness-raising through Dressember, a campaign that uses fashion and creativity to help fight human trafficking. In December, the students in Scotland raised over £4,500 for local and global anti-human trafficking charities. 

We’d love you guys to be praying for us. Please thank our generous God for our students, and for equipping them to remain faithful in these strange circumstances. Please thank him for the wonderful partners for whom our students volunteer and fundraise. We would appreciate prayer for our students’ continued perseverance, but also for their mental health. Please also pray for the Just Love staff team, that we would serve our students as best we can. Our team recently spent some time chatting to 24-7 Prayer’s Brian Heasley about the importance of prayer in making decisions. So, finally, please pray that we would be an organisation defined by our reliance upon our good God. 

If you’d like to find out any more about Just Love in Scotland, please feel welcome to email anna.spence@justloveuk.com, or find out more on our website, www.justloveuk.com   

Anna currently works with the epic Scottish groups and partners. She has just moved to Glasgow, but she’s Newcastle born and raised (and tries to bring it up as much as possible). She graduated from Oxford uni having studied Psychology and Philosophy, and loves overthinking how and why we should engage in social justice. She’ll tell you she loves 90s hip-hop and indie movies. She won’t tell you she loves McFly and drinks mochas.

Crystal Cryer

Crystal Cryer originally hails from Oregon, but now claims Scotland as home. She is the National Coordinator for 24-7 Prayer Scotland. She is also part of the Prayer Spaces in Schools Scotland team as well as the Central Church family in Edinburgh, where she is based.