This week I have been getting together with the guys who were involved with Vida Estudiantil last semester. We have been in touch with most of them throughout the summer. It is fun to see what develops as we invite them to trust God to reach their peers. Students have a better feel many times for where to be, when and who to talk to than we do as outsiders. Yesterday we were on campus because when I met with Jorge, a sophomore, on Tuesday, and he told me about a freshmen orientation event for his faculty. So we showed up to see what it was like. After a formal meeting with all the freshmen there was a breakfast where the student government and other student representatives got to present themselves to the students. We asked for a couple minutes to present Vida Estudiantil and invite them to our first event, "How to Get Better Grades and Have More Fun". Jorge is still just getting involved with us, but he opened some doors and got to see how he can reach out to his peers.
Next Monday classes start, but it will be a relaxed week, with lots of parties and the typical freshmen hazing. There is lots of talk about new rules limiting what the upperclassmen can do to students. We will see how that turns out.
Since mid-December we have been trying to get a meeting with the student activites director. Juan Carlos, one of our chilean staff, and Patricio one of the students leaders at USACH, will finally get to sit down with him Wednesday the 12th. This will be an important time for establishing a relationship with the university and getting access to information, opportunties, funding and meeting space on campus.