In Brazil, student initiative drives ministry. Student leaders act as missionaries in their schools, train other students, and take part in regional and national governance. So, you can imagine the concern when the movement was forced to cancel their largest student training conference due to the pandemic. Jessica Grant, an ABUB staff member, says that canceling the conference meant missing an entire generation of student leaders. She says,
“Having fewer students trained and willing to be regional student leaders means that there are fewer people helping new groups. Our staff workers alone could not articulate the groups we have nowadays. We depend on students to make this student mission alive.”
In response to the cancellation, staff workers and regional student leaders began to think about a new way to ensure that a generation would not be lost. As a result, they created a four-week online Missionary Formation Course. They based the theme on the post-exile period in Ezra and Nehemiah, where God guided his people out of captivity and called them to rebuild the wall and temple. ABUB leaders likened this biblical period to the new reality, where students are facing the challenge of rebuilding ministry in a new context.
“The course is helping students bring meaning to a moment that before felt lost and unstable, to understand that God has called them to act in this situation.”
As the course wraps up this week, let’s pray that ABUB students will feel empowered to continue ministry in a new reality.
- Pray that students continue the mission actively and impact their context even if there are no face-to-face classes this year. Pray that they will have courage, strength and creative ideas to reach their non-Christian friends.
- Pray for the participants of the course. Pray that any students who did not previously know ABUB will become active in their schools and universities.
- Pray that God will help ABUB to learn how to continue to train students in this new and uncertain future.