they got to know the main reason why we do what we do: Jesus
October 1944 is a date known to all students in Guatemala as the month when years of student protests came to a head. During that month, discontented military leaders joined armed workers and students to topple the government. Guatemala's ‘ten years of spring’ had begun, and one of the first acts of the revolutionary government was to grant autonomy to the university.
Every year the Student Association of the School of Political Science organises an arts festival to commemorate this day. This year GEU Guatemala joined the planning team for Art: An Agent of Transformation. The festival encouraged students to participate in the various categories – photography, music, painting, poetry and theatre – and to open a path of unity through art.
Anaely Saenz, one of the Christian students who got involved in the festival, shares why this kind of experience is important. ‘As we worked with the Association the inevitable question arose: what is GEU? What are you doing here?
‘On one day we were able to share about the IFES website, so they could better understand what the movement is about. But more importantly, they got to know the main reason why we do what we do: Jesus. Without fear or pain, and in an unusual way, we made known the name of Jesus in a school where the environment is either hostile or cold. With a heart of service and with a great passion for the university, we were able to communicate transformation and justice through art.
‘Working with friends who think that a social science student cannot be a Christian, or classmates who are not open to the gospel was not an easy task, but we thank God for his grace and favour both with classmates and professors.
‘I don’t really understand how God made this happen, nor his grace in using us students, but during this time we heard comments like much “GEU are cool, you can work with them” and “how nice that we can work all together”.
‘It was awesome to see God work through this activity, through students, some willing to see Jesus at university, some not, but one thing united us, art. Thank God for art!
‘That night ended with a big thanks to God for joining us on our student pilgrimage, full of difficulties and problems. We thank him for his grace, and thank him for allowing spaces like these where we can connect with other students in different ways.’
But listen to the good as they sing,
look at the arts that draw smiles,
the moves that inspire goodness
and the discourses of the one who lives in justice.
Jhonny Corado, student in GEU