If we open our lives to others, they can see and come to know him.
Inspired by attending IFES World Assembly 2011 as a student, Carmen Benitez - a member of UCU Colombia - decided to serve the Lord in student ministry for a year and a half. Since that time the Lord has opened doors of opportunities and has given her a vision for student ministry in the city of Armenia, where she lives.
At the moment she is raising support and looking for part-time paid employment. But this hasn’t stopped her from going ahead and making plans with the students!
‘First and foremost, we want to live out our motto for 2012: Jesus Christ gives life meaning, hope and freedom. We also want to study together our bible book for the year: Isaiah.
In terms of concrete activities, we want to continue with meetings at the university where we are today and start a new meeting at another university. We want to have a meeting with professionals, to learn from them, and we want to have more discipleship workshops. These events will promote more times of prayer and fellowship.
In addition, we have certain outreach activities in mind. We also want to start a film and photo club to connect with the reality of the world around us and give us the opportunity to contextualise the word of life. And I’d like to see an HIV/AIDS project in Armenia, as there are in other UCU groups in Colombia, through which we talk about sexuality and HIV in schools and universities.
How will we be able to accomplish all this? First, because we are community. We have a strong student base who want to grow and invite others to participate. This helps us carry out the activities, especially times of discipleship, prayer and fellowship.
Second, we have a clear timetable: we all know what’s happening and we’ve avoided scheduling events that conflict with activities of the church and university.’
Juan Garcia, a member of the group in Armenia, comments, ‘These activities have allowed me to grow in community, but also to understand that Jesus did not only live in the midst of the church, but throughout our daily lives. In our discipleship times we see how in our current situation Jesus brings us answers and we want to know him even more. A year ago we started community lunches so that we could share with people who cannot attend the discipleship groups.’
Carmen continues, ‘Please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom and words to share with those who will come. May the Lord give us rest and not let us grow weary or feel overburdened with the mission. May he enable us to manage our time and divide up responsibilities for the tasks well and give us grace with one another.
The aim of all these activities is to show a living Jesus through our lives. If we open our lives to others, they can see and come to know him.’