Friday, November 16, 2007

Invasion and Progress

Once a month student leaders from different campuses are gathering to help establish the ministry on a campus that is not their own. Yesterday we had a great experience at Universidad de Ciencias Informaticas. Student leaders from 4 campuses showed up. The sense of teamwork among the student leaders in launching and building movements was stellar.

The primary goal of Invasion is to equip students in evangelism. While we are also publicizing the activities that we are doing to serve students the main focus of this time is to train students in the art of initiating gospel centered conversations. The benefits of doing this together are many. It allows our staff to model evangelism with student leaders. It creates an awareness of the scope of every campus and every student. It deepens the sense of teamwork among students. It creates momentum on the campus we visit. It fosters the sharing of ideas. It builds up the faith and courage of the staff and students. And it created the instance for at least 20 students to hear the good news and consider Jesus' offer of new life; abundant and eternal. In the future I believe that Invasion will become an instance where student leaders launch movements on new campuses.

There is still a lot of work to do, but many of the key elements of the ministry are beginning to take shape. As this second school year draws to a close, I am really grateful and a bit surprised at all that God has given us.
We have developed and refined several ministry tools that are helping us step into the lives of lost students: English clubs; a campus meeting format and content that is getting positive feedback from non-Christian students; the Effective Study Seminar that will help us reach freshmen and has caught the attention of school administration as a valuable service to the university; a fall retreat format that got positive feedback from non-Christian students who attended.
We have also refined and adapted our student leadership development. Raices is a community of personal and leadership development that is structured so that we can develop multiple generations of leadership. We have a yearly calendar of student leadership retreats, and have seen God bless these times. In January we will have our first national conference aimed specifically at developing Christian students for mission. In January we will also establish our national summer missions project which will cast vision for and train students in trans cultural missions.
We have seen God bless us in the development of key resources. One of the biggest challenges has been to form small groups where non-Christians can engage with Christians in life and seeking the truth. We are still working on this but have made significant progress in the past year. We have been blessed with the financial support from Chileans to advance needed initiatives. Right now we are in the process of getting a new evangelism tool into print. Our website is also a significant resource.

The progress we can see after two years here in Santiago has been the result of hard work and the grace of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1Co 15:10)