The number of churches has grown phenomenally in Latin America but societies are battling with poverty, corruption and injustice and remain in need of transformation by kingdom values. In this context, indigenous IFES movements are reaching students with the gospel and producing godly men and women who will influence their nations for Jesus.
IFES in Latin America
- Largest movements are in the most populated countries: ABUB Brazil and Compa Mexico
- Smallest movements are in Central America and Uruguay with a few dozen members
Without a doubt, the greatest strength of students in Latin America is their initiative to be involved in mission. In many of the movements there are only one or two workers, who support students in various universities and even in cities. Students are the main protagonists of the university mission!
Poverty, corruption and violence are huge challenges for students in Latin America. But perhaps the greatest is for students to not be ashamed of their faith, but instead share and connect with the academic and social world.
View from the inside
David Bahena is Regional Secretary for Latin America. ‘There is not a more strategic ministry in the world today than student ministry. I've seen its power and influence when it comes to transforming professionals, politicians, business people, pastors, missionaries and NGO leaders with a vision of the kingdom of God. Also there is no better gift than seeing a student give their life to Jesus and then see how God gradually uses this life to impact their generation, their family and their world.’
David finds it ‘revolutionary to see students spend days and weeks studying the bible to prepare in the mission.’ He knows that this will result in godly lives, just as it says in one of his favourite bible passages, Psalm 1:1-3: the person who delights in God’s law will be ‘like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.’
- for courageous communities of students who know and live in God’s word, who share their love for Jesus, who are serving the needs of the vulnerable, and who enter the academic and ideological discussions of the university from the perspective of a mature and complete faith.