Our mission continues

Student ministry in a COVID-19 world

The global COVID-19 pandemic is having a big impact on our fellowship, how we do our ministry and the context we’re working in.

Many universities are moving their teaching online, but for countries with fewer resources and less reliable internet, this isn’t possible. Some international students have suddenly found themselves stuck and isolated far from home.

Student initiative has reached a level of creativity previously unimaginable. Many are meeting online to do evangelistic events, study the Bible and pray together. From huge online prayer gatherings in Asia to record numbers of students coming to Christ in New York, God is truly, surely at work.

On this page find out how IFES is responding to the pandemic as well as resources and stories to inspire you as we continue in mission together.

  • Mission

    Stories, ideas and inspiration from around the world to continue in mission.

  • Support IFES

    Students still need to hear about Jesus. Be a part of our mission by giving to support IFES ministry today.

Top Tips for Moving your Ministry Online

You can do an online Bible Study! Just because you’ve moved ministry online doesn’t mean you can’t have a great Bible study. After months of doing ministry online, here are 5 top tips that IFES students and leaders around the world are using to make their online Bible study great!

You can start online evangelism events! Online outreach seems difficult, but with a little creativity, you can use the internet to start meaningful conversations with your friends! In this video, IFES students and staff share their best ideas for creating online evangelism events.

Responding in Prayer 

Prayer is an expression of our community, and is central to all we do. In times of uncertainty we feel our need to turn to God all the more. We are thrilled to see students respond creatively to the demands of the current situation, but it is clear that there is nothing we alone can do that will allow us to gain control over the events of our world. But we are certain that when we pray, God listens. This humbling fact brings us to our knees, pursuing God in prayer together as a fellowship. 

Global Day of Prayer

On Friday 22 May we were thrilled to see students, staff and supporters from around the world unite for a Global Day of Prayer. We gathered on video calls over the course of the day to pray for IFES ministry and to hear how students and staff are continuing the mission. This day was a powerful expression of the unity we enjoy as a fellowship, and the importance of keeping prayer at the centre of all we do. 

Please plan to join us for our next global opportunity to pray, on Friday 16 October, for World Student Day, our annual day of prayer for IFES student ministry. This event enables us to celebrate all that God continues to do through IFES, and pray for the needs and opportunities of the upcoming year. Especially at this time, this is an important opportunity to pray for the changing context of the university. We hope you will join us as we gather to intercede for universities around the world. 

“This virus is very contagious. So is panic, fear, anxiety, discouragement. But also calm, peace, trust, grace, love, and kindness. We must choose wisely what we want to spread around us.”

Jamil Chabouh · IFES Acting General Secretary

Our mission Continues

Grieving together
Jamil Chabouh 

IFES Acting General Secretary, Jamil Chabouh acknowledges the grief felt around the world by students affected by COVID-19. He encourages the IFES community to press on in solidarity and reminds us of our unity in Jesus.

Peace despite suffering
Mahima Khaling Rai 

With unstable internet, stranded citizens, and closed businesses, the pandemic has brought about much suffering in Nepal. However, volunteer staff member, Mahima Khaling Rai sends a word of encouragement to the IFES community to find joy in the knowledge that Jesus has taken away our ultimate suffering.  

Shake this continent
Sarah Breuel 

Why is the pandemic a good opportunity to pray? Sarah Breuel of IFES Europe shares about how a prayer movement of students is asking God to “shake this continent.” Find out how these students are encouraging each other through online prayer meetings and get ideas on how to plan your own.

God at work in the quarantine
InterVarsity USA

In New York, more students came to Christ in one week than in the previous year. Hear from Intervarsity USA staff on what has been happening among students living in lockdown.

Viewing Technology As An Opportunity Ricardo Borges

Though it presents challenges, adapting to online ministry is producing unique opportunities for IFES movements around the world. Ricardo Borges, Associate Secretary for Scripture Engagement, reminds us of several ways we can be thankful for technology during this time.

Converting your events to webinar
InterVarsity Study Abroad 

What do you do when your plans for a meaningful study abroad tour are disrupted by COVID-19? Turn it into a webinar! Hear how InterVarsity Study Abroad have taken their Journey Spain programme online and how you can apply the same concepts to convert your own events to webinars.

Isolated but not entirely
Mathieu Guéi

Students in the Ivory Coast are actively continuing the mission despite the ongoing pandemic. Hear how they have worked to stay connected, reach out to others, and even research cures for the virus. 

Find out what’s happening

We talked with Annette Arulrajah about the impact of Covid-19 in East Asia and some incredible stories of students responding to it in prayer and hospitality.

Tor Erling Fagermoen, Regional Secretary for IFES Europe joined us to share about the impact the COVID-19 coronavirus is having on national movements in Europe and what responses there may be to it. With input from IFES Associate General Secretaries: Martin Haizmann and Tim Adams.

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