I support SU International because it has a thoroughly Biblical approach which can fit into any kind of situation anywhere in the world. The good news of the gospel as summed up in John 3:16 is relevant to any kind of sinner who has lived in any nation, and belonged to any religion, tribe or culture.
I was brought up to attend an evangelical Anglican Church in southern England, but was not converted until I was 18 years of age. A week long interdenominational mission in my home town, sponsored by the Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and Catholic churches, was the instrument that convicted me of the sin of nominal Christianity. On the last night I cried out for help, and was led to receive Jesus as my Saviour by a Methodist minister who came from Scotland!
Ten years later, in 1964, I set sail for Africa to work for SU Nigeria. In my first year I worked with Africans in their teens and early twenties as a travelling secretary in the secondary schools and colleges, mostly in the west of the country. Here the Muslims and Christians were roughly of equal numbers. But this is where I first learnt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is no respecter of different religions. Whether converted from a Muslim or nominal Christian background, such teenagers would be so overwhelmed with the joy of experiencing Jesus as a reality in their lives that they would want more than anything to win all their friends to Christ.
Then I was sent to work in eastern Nigeria where virtually everyone called themselves a Christian, either Protestant or Catholic, but nominal Christianity was the big problem. That was just the background I had come from! Wherever we had opportunity to speak at school assemblies, or start SU Groups and Christian Unions, or organise SU Camps in the holidays, we emphasised the Bible teaching showing the need for everyone to be converted, whatever the background, then grow into dedicated disciples of the Lord Jesus. They were exciting days as we saw young Christians and their SU Groups growing ever stronger in their commitment to Jesus.
But there was more excitement to come. The Biafra civil war started in 1967 in the very area that I was living and working in. Most foreigners left the country, but God clearly laid on my heart to stay. This is where I learnt that our God can work in war as well as in peace. Even though the schools and colleges closed down for the whole two and a half years of civil war, we saw more spiritual fruit and zealous evangelism in those difficult and dangerous years than we ever did in peaceful times.
As Ephesians 6:17 says, ‘the sword of the Spirit [really] is the word of God’ whatever country or culture we may be asked to work in, and that’s what counts!
Bill Roberts spent 20 years working with SU in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and now serves on SU Scotland's International Committee. You can read more about Bill's experiences in Nigeria in his book, 'Life and Death among the Ibos'.