Monday, November 23, 2009

europe: publicly communicating the gospel in universities

Earlier this month, 80 people from 30 countries gathered to attend the IFES Europe Evangelists Conference in Austria. They were mostly from Europe but a few people came from as far as Central Asia, South Pacific and North America to observe. This is the second conference of its kind and aims to develop public evangelism in the different countries.

Immediately following the conference, teams were partnering with different IFES movements in publicly communicating the gospel in universities in six cities of Europe: Budapest University in Hungary, Prague University in the Czech Republic, Ljubljana University in Slovenia, Vienna University in Austria, Belgrade University in Serbia, and Skopje University in Macedonia.

Some friends from Slovenia wrote after the event: 'A highlight of the trip was the lecture at the philosophical department for 30 students and three professors at the university. The theme was "The New Atheism" and the response was very positive - the professors actually asked if we could come back! A team member prayed with one girl who became a Christian. Praise the Lord!

'The second highlight was the public debate at the university in Ljubljana. It was held in a small room, with about 50 chairs, but became packed with 80 students. The debate went well; the Christian students were encouraged and a number of non-Christians challenged.'

Over the last couple of years, a total of 130 people have attended the Evangelists Conferences. Pray that 50 of them will become public evangelists for universities in Europe, strengthening the ministry of the 25 people who are already working in that area. Pray too for God's direction and blessings on the plans to develop similar programs for Eurasia, and possibly for the South Pacific and Canada too.