Blog posts by Penny Vinden

Dec 15

Mission Snow

Posted by Penny Vinden

Christmas time! Around the world the hearts and minds of many people focus on buying presents and eating special food. Some people sing of snow, Santa Claus, stars in the east and a baby in a manger – many without believing any of it. But there is a group of students from KFS Denmark who are focusing on something quite different this year. They’re getting ready to go to Greenland in January.

Dec 08

Protesting university fees – taking a Christian stand

Posted by Penny Vinden

Students prevented from attending university because they cannot afford the fees? We know this a reality all over the world.

Over the past year, there have been protests about university fees in South Africa under the banner of #FeesMustFall. In the past two months, the unrest became violent in some places. 

Nov 24

Promoting good governance, providing good care – travelling for IFES

Posted by Penny Vinden

‘If you think that you can overcome the "going East" jet lag by "flying West" in the next days, you are wrong. It gets only worse. The body gets really confused.’

I read this in a recent email from Mirek Pieszka, Director of the IFES Governance Development Program. He was writing about his recent and upcoming travel plans and asking for our prayers.

Nov 17

Bringing Jesus to their friends: high school students in Gabon make a difference

Posted by Penny Vinden

I wrote recently about the post-election crisis in Gabon. Since then I’ve been in touch with two high school student leaders who told me about their experience as members of GBG Gabon. Their exuberance, their perseverance and their boldness in the face of trials are a joy to share with you.

Nov 03

A new Regional Secretary for South Asia: getting to know Savithri

Posted by Penny Vinden

We’re very pleased to announce that Savithri Sumanthiran has been appointed Regional Secretary for South Asia. We talked to her about growing up, how she got to know IFES and her time as General Secretary of FOCUS Sri Lanka. It was fascinating! Here are some highlights of that conversation so you can get to know her too.

Oct 27

World Student Day – a celebration in pictures

Posted by Penny Vinden

Last Friday was IFES World Student Day - and what a day it was! We encouraged IFES movements to think about what it means to love their neighbour – on campus, in their society, around the world.

Here are some of the things students did:

Oct 20

Neighbours loving neighbours: collaborating across borders

Posted by Penny Vinden

Friday 21 October is a big day for the IFES family. It’s World Student Day! Around the globe, students, staff and friends of IFES gather to celebrate what God is doing in schools and universities, and to lift up in prayer the needs of the IFES family.

Sep 14

Prayer spaces – finding God in quiet places

Posted by Penny Vinden

What is a prayer space? It is a room or other space that is designed to be a creative place to pray. It can include prayer stations where students explore various aspects of prayer or meditate about different topics.

Prayer spaces expand our notion of what it means to pray. They are places to listen, to think, to quiet oneself. And in that stillness, students are finding God.

Sep 01

International student ministry: serious fun!

Posted by Penny Vinden

Being an international student worker can be really fun sometimes, I thought as I read a recent email. Amy and Julie, who are with IVCF Canada in Waterloo Ontario, had written, ‘We host dinners, parties for different Muslim or international holidays, hikes, go swimming weekly with some students, and just spend time with people over lunch or a coffee.’

Aug 25

Mission in Europe and Eurasia: obstacles overcome

Posted by Penny Vinden

‘There was an atmosphere of fear and doubt among the local team.’

‘There is widespread disillusionment with the Orthodox church, but also a suspicion of evangelicals as something of a western import.’

‘We tried very hard to organize a debate at the university but we were not welcomed.’


About Penny Vinden

Penny is a former member of the IFES Global Communications team.