the concerts are a great opportunity for students to share the real reason for the season
Although Guyana is home to beautiful scenery and rich natural resources, it is a country rife with corruption, drug trafficking, political instability and racial tension. This has resulted in poor living standards, large-scale emigration of the educated and a sense of hopelessness, especially among the nation’s youth.
IS/IVCF Guyana thinks that it is important to reach students and give them hope when they are young, and there is therefore a strong focus on work among secondary school students. In fact, while IVCF is present in seven out of ten tertiary institutions, ISCF sponsors bible clubs in over 240 secondary schools.
These clubs utilize the Christmas season to reach out in a fresh way to their fellow students, pointing them to something beyond food, gifts and parties. ‘The big thing at this time of year is Christmas concerts,’ says staff worker Joel Haywood. ‘The concerts are organised by students and involve a mixture of things – sometimes a video show, a ten-minute talk by a Christian leader, a drama presentation, a time of discussion with festive drinks and snacks. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere to which they can invite their friends. About 50% of the participants are non-Christian.
‘There is a lot of commercial buzz around Christmas with Santa Claus, gifts and so on. The concerts are a great opportunity for students to share the real reason for the season! We hope this won’t just be a means of entertainment but a chance to share Jesus Christ with others.’
In some cases the school administration participates in organising these events, and all students are required to attend. What an opportunity!
Michelle Adonas, another staff worker, suggests how we can pray: ‘We want the talks this year to have a great impact on the lives of both Christians and non-Christians, for their lives to be transformed through Jesus Christ.
‘Pray for boldness for Christian students as they participate in the concerts and clarity in the presentation of the Christmas message.’
Let’s pray too that Christian students will be eager to share the hope that is within them; that all year long, through their words and actions, they will proclaim Emmanuel, God with us.