Population: 17.3 million (2011)
Official language: Spanish
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Grupo Bíblico Universitario de Chile (GBUCh)
Chile is a Christian country with a Roman Catholic majority. There is freedom to practice and share one’s faith; the problem is that faith can become superficial as material possessions and money threaten to take the place of God in people’s hearts.
- 60 universities, 32 groups
- 1 full-time, 5 part-time staff and over 20 volunteers
- high school and graduate ministry in development
- largest groups in Santiago: 3 groups with more than 200 students
- smallest groups in Arica and Punta Arenas: about 5 students
In 2014, GBUCh celebrated its 50th anniversary. From the beginning, GBUCh has been characterised by strong student initiative. Although there are few staff workers, students have taken a strong leadership role and, in addition to pursuing their studies, offer their time, encouragement and even money for student ministry.
The movement is currently in a time of transition, with a new general secretary and new staff workers. As the movement faces this new beginning, they are grateful for the help they have received from dozens of graduates of all ages who are providing support through work and prayer.
View from the inside
Gustavo Sobarzo is the new General Secretary of GBUCh. He says, ‘’I accepted this position with great confidence, confidence that does not rest in me or my abilities, but in the Lord has called me to serve.
‘I am grateful for the tremendous support I have received from graduates and former staff workers, in whom I see the reflection of Jesus Christ. My prayer is that together we can address our mission to the university, as a call to the Christian church as a whole, not just to students who are currently attending university.
‘I express my greatest admiration for the students GBUCh. They are an active, passionate generation who long to transform society with the gospel message. The psalmist's words in Psalm 119:90 reflect the feeling of GBUCh today: “Your faithfulness continues through all generations”.’
- for the new general secretary and his family;
- for the places where GBUCh groups are very small, and where they want to pioneer new groups;
- for good relationships with the local church;
- for financial stability.