May 6, 2019
I planned a short trip to Colombia to visit with our translators, Glenis, Maria, and Carlos. This was not my first trip to the beautiful city of Cartagena. I've taught in our University Discipleship Training Schools and School of University Ministries there over the past decade. Under the direction of John Hwang, International Director of the Student Mobilization Centre, those schools have produced leaders of university ministries and missions in Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia. Our SMC leaders, Mauricio and Diana, just had a baby named Celeste. So, of course, I planned to visit them too.
Then Mauricio said, "I want to invite you to speak to our students and their parents." I said sure. Then Mauricio said it would be a two-day conference. I only planned to stay three nights. I was honored to be their speaker as they continue to reach out to the 60,000 students in that city.
Glenis and her team have been translating the entire Converge platform and online course, which connects interns to missional organizations. Sadly, Carlos could not get free from Venezuela to meet with us, so we had a video call with him.
This conference was about the importance of university ministries. I began with our One Story (the 'uni' in university), which is a story of shame and brokenness. Without a revelation of the power of shame, we will always fail to "show up" fully engaged in our calling and fully engaging our world. The second day was about the diversity (the 'versity' of university) of the Body of Christ and of God's creation. Without apprehending the ways of God in every sphere of influence, we will not disciple nations as we have been commanded to do.
The university is like a temple representing the ways of God as the original communicator, creator, gardener, teacher, architect and builder, lawgiver and just judge. We are created in the image of God. Shame tells us we are not enough. Overcoming shame will afford us the courage to be vulnerable, as God is vulnerable.
As the founder of the Student Mobilization Centre and the creator of the School of University Ministries & Missions, which has equipped leaders currently leading student ministries in over 30 countries, I have been teaching YWAMers and university students that we must engage the world in response to God's call. When we 'show up' as representatives of the ways of God in every sphere of influence represented in the university, we will begin to complete the task of making disciples of every nation.