2014 - Vol. 74.
Pharos has done for me
by Maarten Baumers
I left the university student life a couple of years ago when I graduated
from the University of Leuven, but it was more difficult for me to let
go of Pharos.
So when I was asked to share my testimony at my last ‘official’ Pharos
event, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. It was an ideal way for me to look
back at what Pharos has meant for me in my life.
I cannot compare myself at all with the guy I was four years ago, before
I got to know Pharos. Back then, I was an unbelieving, “searching” boy.
Yes, I had an interest in Bible stories and in spirituality, but that was
In Pharos, I discovered that God is a loving God, who wants to establish
a personal relationship with every one of us. He wasn’t the distant, indefinable
person anymore, but he became a friend and a Father for me. Instead of
getting to know something about Him, my life changed when I got to know
The most important thing Pharos instilled in me was community life.
As a Christian, you are never alone. In Pharos, university students from
all over the world, all completely different, come together to form one
whole. And they do that because they have one thing in common: the desire
to know God better.
Being able to share with like-minded people about personal struggles
and blessings is a tremendous encouragement. And being able to ask for
counsel and spiritual advice from Christians who are a bit farther along
in life, is even more encouraging.
And in Pharos there is another great blessing - the opportunity to live
with other Christians in a household. What began as an excuse to leave
my parents’ house for a while, has become a true growing process. In living
with other Christian men I have been challenged, encouraged, corrected,
sharpened, confronted, but most importantly, blessed.
I have learned so much through Pharos, but the most central thing I
learned was this: believing is not just
a part of your life. Through receiving practical Christian teaching
and living in Christian community, I have discovered bit by bit what believing
in Christ really means. If you really want to live and grow as a Christian
in the power of the Holy Spirit, He begins to work in you and to take over
your whole life, every aspect, even the things you would rather not give
I have learned that being a Christian is not a hobby, it is a way of
Saying goodbye to Pharos luckily doesn’t mean that I will say goodbye
to that way of living. Every ending is a new beginning. The challenge that
follows for me is to never forget to keep the Gospel in front of
me and to find new places where I can grow and experience life in Christ.
With God’s help and the support of Christian believers around me, I am
sure I’ll be able to do it, because ‘giving up’ is an idea that doesn’t
exist with God.
Baumers studied Biology at KU Leuven
Also see > "Doing
It Together - Pharos
Community" by Daniel Spokoinyi