Missionaries who have worked for many years with University Students talk about about why they feel this ministry is important. Michael and Mary Foster spent over ten years working with University students in Peru. According to Mary, University ministry is "strategic, dynamic and very rewarding". Here are more of her insights into the needs in Student ministry.
Mary Foster teaching students
- Peru has many large universities with over 5000 students
- 6 Paid staff at over 66 Universities throughout the country (statistic from 2005)
- Missionaries work well with IFES related university organisations. This is unlike in the 70s and 80s when foreign partnership meant imperialism and was rejected in most universities
- Student ministries currently produce a large percentage of Christian leaders in Peru. For example the leader of World Vision , Compassion and the Evangelical Alliance are all graduates of the student movement.
More information about the University Ministry
- Student ministry in Peru is linked with IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students). The ministry in Peru is called AGEUP which is a Spanish anacronym.
- University Groups are mostly student run
- Student movements in Peru have a national leadership which we will work under.
- Students in Latin America speak about out about political issues and justice is high on their agenda
- They are passionate about understanding the whole gospel in terms of evangelism and social action as well as teaching the Bible clearly at meetings.
We asked Edwin and Diane Porter, who have been missionaries in Peru for many years, what they felt were the greatest needs in Peru. This is what they said...
"It is true to say that tomorrow’s leadership of Peru is attending University today which highlights the enormous need for a strong Christian presence on campus. Attending University brings the student under the pressure of diverse social and academic influences, it is therefore important that there is a group of Christians on campus who are active in their faith and able to encourage one another. The impact on the lives of students in reinforcing the importance of living for Christ and reaching out with the Gospel message during their university life has far reaching and long term effects for not only does it encourage the students to follow Christ during those formative university years it also aids them in their formation for the future and how they live their lives in the home, at work and in the church. The evangelical church in Peru and those missions including SIM who are working in Peru are seizing the opportunity to encourage Christian students by giving them the tools they need to grow in their faith and to reach out to their families, friends and colleagues.
With the help of missionaries like David and Christine working in the Universities in Lima, Arequipa and across Peru, many Christians have been and will be strengthened in their faith and given the tools they need to face the challenges of their future lives and ministry".