Population: 3.4 million (2011)
Official language: Spanish
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Comunidad Bíblica Universitaria (CBU)
Uruguay has long been known as the most socially liberal country in South America. It was among the first to set up a welfare state and offer free public education. However it was also a forerunner on the continent in legalising divorce and more recently abortion. In this highly secularised context it is not easy to live and share the Christian faith.
- 1 large state and 4 private universities
- 8 CBU groups in different schools of the state university
- 1 CBU worker, 1 missionary from El Salvador, 5 voluntary workers.
- largest group is in the school of communication (9 or 10 students)
- smallest groups have 3 or 4 students
Many of the CBU groups are relatively small, but these groups have a generation of students who are learning to live and share their faith. One of the biggest challenges in this area is for wisdom and sensitivity to live and communicate the gospel in the Uruguayan context.
CBU is now in the process of planning as they look to grow the ministry in other universities in the country and to reach faculty and professionals.
2014 has been a year full of changes and challenges because Ricardo Wesley Borges, an IFES staff worker, returned to Brazil after 7 years, and CBU appointed its first full-time staff worker, Jorge C. Bermúdez. He is also serving as General Secretary.
View from the inside
Jorge C. Bermúdez, staff worker since January 2014, shares, ‘I had the privilege of being a part of the pre-history of CBU: I was a student leader in the 1990s, and my wife and I have been voluntary workers since 2008, during this new restructuring and consolidation stage. We are excited about this new challenge to serve the movement and we trust that the Lord will guide us as we work as a team, to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose’.
Jorge believes that CBU’s challenge is to reach out to the University in Uruguay with the message that Jesus gives in John 10:10: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”’.
- for students to have wisdom and sensitivity to live and communicate the gospel in their context;
- for wisdom for staff workers and leaders as they plan how to expand the ministry and to grow as a team;
- for the resources needed to maintain and expand the ministry.