Kingdom values have helped bring radical transformation in society precisely when Christians understood their calling to be salt and light in the public square.
More than 1,000 representatives of national IFES student movements from all over the world meet in the Mexico World Assembly. Samuel Escobar says students have “vocation of service and a lifestyle shaped by following Jesus”.
Christian students with a heart for God’s mission are meeting these days in Mexico. The International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World assembly gathers delegates from all over the world in the city of Oaxtepec (22-30 July).
IFES unites half a million of evangelical students in more than 150 countries across the world, “a global community of Christian students who share the good news of Jesus Christ”. This massive network of believers has become the biggest student organisation in the world of any kind.
Their mission is to be “light” in every university. It is a strategic place to be, because the often very secularised context of university is the place where future leaders of society (politics, education, finances, media, research, and a long etc) are being trained.
About 1,100 student and staff representatives from national evangelical student movements joined a programm which will include “Scripture Engagement (interacting with Philippians and Daniel 1 and 3), our mission to the university, a session on facing suffering that reflects on resistance, hostility to the gospel and persecution, and the General Committee sessions.”
SAMUEL ESCOBAR: “NOTABLE STUDENT MOVEMENT GROWTH”
Samuel Escobar is on the many people who have served students in their mission. During 26 years (from 1959 to 1985) he worked in several Latin American countries and in Canada, helping in evangelism, training leaders, promoting the missionary vision and producing Christian literature.
He is attending the World Assembly these days in Mexico, and wrote a chronicle for Spain’s Protestante Digital.
“The growth of the student movements has been notable, and Mexico is an illustrative example of this. I recall my first visit in 1963, the student movement here had only 3 or 4 small groups. Now the evangelical university students of “Companerismo Estudiantil” are about 2,000 in 20 of the 32 states of the country. And now they are going to accomplish the difficult tak of hosting this massive assembly which will unite 1,100 delegates from all over the world”.
Escobar points out a material just published, the book “Influence”, written by Philippa White. It gathers “fourteen personal stories of professionals, from different countries, that were involved in IFES student groups; and later received positions of influence in their countries. They had a vocation of service and a lifestyle shaped by following Jesus.”
In this assembly, concludes Escobar, “I have the expectation of seeing how the mission of God advances. A mission in which IFES is embarked, too.”