Last year Caitlyn from the Blue Mountains came to Peru for two months to help with our English classes. She stayed with us and became a part of the family so it was a happy reunion to finally see her again. God bless Caitlyn.
See more about Caitlyn's first visit to Peru with the Wycliffe School.
Great to be back in Australia! We’re looking forward to catching up with family and friends.
Our family after the long flight
The twins in front of the Qantas jet that brought us home on a beautiful and sunny winter’s day
What happens when you get together students and Christian staff workers from universities all around the world, from places like Australia, Ghana, Palestine and Peru? I’m really grateful to have to have been part of this amazing event called the IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) World Assembly.
One student from El Salvador shared how students live with the fear of bandits who take advantage of the instability in the country. She’s once had to dive to the ground when gunfire opened in the streets. Other students shared how they operate in countries where it is illegal to share their faith. It was also sad to hear that in countries in Europe that we’d consider peaceful and open to the gospel, the University administration treats evangelical groups with suspicion while being open to other religions. One administrator told a Christian group that he believed they were only growing because they used manipulation and coercion. For me this was encouragement to fully take advantage of the openness to the gospel we currently have in Peru.
Working in Peru has it’s own challenges so it was helpful to talk to others in a similar situation. I’m the only full-time staff worker in a University with over 20,000 students. There are two other universities within walking distance with over 10,000 students each. Clearly to reach such an enormous number of students we need processes to disciple and empower Christian students to reach their friends. It was great to connect with Peter Sholl, an Aussie missionary, who has a programme for providing theological education for University student while they continue in their studies. Daniela from Mexico (video in Spanish) spoke about how syncretism where Catholicism mixed with other beliefs results in a world view that is distant from what the Bible teaches. She shared some ideas of how their group engages with students in this context.
The conference was also a good opportunity to speak with the leaders of the University ministry from several different Latin American countries about our Uconecta project. The students from Mexico were particularly interested. I learnt a lot from a student from Chile who showed me a system that his University used to share information.
Here’s an article in Christianity Today that features a photo of someone you know. When the photo was taken I was just asking a question about the financial statement - not making one of the five world changing ideas. :) I did however get the opportunity to share about the Uconecta project at the Latin American gathering.
About 24 Peruvian students spent a weekend immersed in English. Apart from practicing speaking English, we also learnt about where we should look for truth. Jesus said “I am the way, the TRUTH and the life”. A team of 4 from Tyndale University in Canada helped by leading sessions about the Bible and running workshops. We played also played games, sang and got to know each other. David really enjoyed the camp because having more time to talk meant deeper conversations. One student shared how he had earlier made a commitment to Jesus but struggled to stay committed. Other students opened up about different challenges that they faced. Several Christian students were encouraged in their walk with the Lord.
The evaluation forms were overwhelmingly positive and everyone wanted another camp. Someone even wrote in the what could be improved section “Less free time” which makes us laugh as Pervians do love organised activities.
What was the best thing about camp? The bonfire, making friends, playing games, playing card games, talking with campers, the preaching, the talent show, the food, new friendships, sharing knowledge about God, conversation in English.
Marisol:- “the best thing was the preaching of the gospel and the talking about Jesus as the truth, because that's the most important thing in our lives”.
What did you learn about God or the Bible? About Jesus and the faith, The differences between Catholics and Evangelicals, proof that the bible is true, I learned that being with God we can have or I’ve live in the truth, the meanings of biblical words are more clear than in Spanish (now).
Elizabeth – I learnt that God is the truth, his words are the truth, I will obey God's word. I will walk by the voice of God.
We thank God for the help of the Canadian team. It was a blessing to many and helped build stronger friendships with our students. The team are safely home for which we also grateful to God as we had two day of protests and strikes during their visit. Once we narrowly escaped injury when soccer fans got unfriendly in the main square. One person from the team named Adam has stayed. He was on the team last year and will and will stay for 3 months working with the English ministry and more. Please pray for Adam that he will connect with students and inspire them in their spiritual walk. Please pray for the students in Arequipa English and especially the ones that we are following up.