At Southern Adventist University, student-led prayer sessions lead to a change of plans.
Published on: 06-17-2022
Mugi Kinoshita had plans. As a senior animation major at Southern Adventist University (SAU) in Collegedale, Tennessee, United States, she was working hard to build her skills and portfolio, hoping to land an animation job at a top studio after graduation. But, in the midst of her busy final year of college, she sensed something was missing.
“I felt the need for prayer,” Mugi says. “At first, I planned to have a prayer meeting with just my housemates, but I had a burden for the people in my department. So I prayed, ‘If it is Your will, let me have an open prayer meeting in the School of Visual Art and Design.’ ”
A few minutes later, a friend texted, “Can I join your prayer meeting?”
Mugi felt God calling her to proceed, so she created a poster, posted an invitation on Instagram, and began personally inviting her classmates to join her for 10 days of prayer, meeting in the School of Visual Art and Design lobby. Her goal was to make it easy for anyone wanting to experience Jesus to participate.
The first day, only two students joined Mugi, but, little by little, more people joined in, and by day nine there were 10 people attending.
“It was amazing how God brought specific people each day for a purpose,” Mugi says. “I reminded myself every day to praise God for whoever showed up, because even if it was only one or two people, it was His plan.”
Participants expressed their appreciation to Mugi for organizing the prayer sessions, saying, “It was so healing,” and “I could really feel God’s presence,” and “The 10 Days of Prayer was simply life-changing.” One said, “We should do this more often.”
In fact, so many people expressed a desire to continue praying together that Mugi has begun hosting a weekly prayer session, open for anyone on campus to join.
“I realized the importance of prayer,” she says. “I saw God reaching out and restoring attendees, people becoming happier day by day, encouraging each other, opening up to others. They were finding Jesus and being filled with excitement and passion for Him. It was the happiest experience in my life to let God work on people through me. I felt I was nothing by myself; with Jesus, I had a purpose, hope, peace, and a bright future.”
Through this transformative experience, Mugi has a new perspective on her career path.
“Before, my career goal was to work as an animator or background painter at my favorite studio,” she says. “But now, I am open to anything that God wants me to do, because I believe that God’s plan is the best. I realized that even a dream job, if it is not God’s plan, would be miserable. I really, really want to use my artistic talent to reach out to people who are lost, and to bring healing to their souls through Jesus.”
“Mugi’s story is such an inspiration!” Joseph Khabbaz, SAU vice-president for Spiritual Life and campus chaplain, says. “It is a wonderful example of the many ways students and employees across campus are making prayer an important part of their lives and letting God work through them.”