Universities are places where the Christian faith is often put to the test and SIM’s Engaging the Universities initiative seeks to reach the next generation by sharing God’s love with students around the world.
Our Engaging the University initiative has five main areas of focus:
1. Student Ministry.
2. International Student Ministry.
3. Academia: Graduate students, lecturers, professors and researchers.
4. TEFL: Teaching English (or other language) as a Foreign Language.
5. Minding the Gap: (non-traditional ministry, or areas of the university campus that are overlooked).
Our primary directives include:
* Supporting and encouraging SIM workers in the university context.
* Helping them to think through the various ways SIM could be engaging the university in their country/region.
* Consider strategic places for SIM to get involved, based upon global trends and specific area needs.
* Support mobilisation and help get the word out about opportunities.
David Jeyachandran is a SIM worker in Peru working in university ministry, who devised a unique way of helping students stay strong in their faith and not fade away during times of testing.
He explains: “We got together with our students and asked the question ‘How do we make praying for our university friends a part of our daily life?’
“We’d tried before with only limited success to find how we could make praying a daily habit. As all of us never forget to brush our teeth every single day, we thought about making praying for our friends a new habit by connecting it with an existing habit of brushing teeth.
“We started with three students and we now have 16 praying daily. When we start, we smile and give thanks to God for the many things he’s blessed us with and then pray for three university friends — the same three friends every day, praying that:
- God will open their hearts.
- God will create opportunities for students to listen to their friends and share how Jesus has impacted their lives.
- They keep each other accountable by posting in a WhatsApp group and each student has another student, who reminds them if they forget to brush their teeth.
“We believe that praying makes a difference. When we work, we work, but when we pray, God works!” adds David.