South American campus ministries unite for ‘biggest retreat ever!
More than 115 university students from Globalscope’s two South American campus ministries were recently united by their love of Christian community at the El Oasis retreat in the coastal town of El Tabo, Chile.
“This was the biggest retreat we’ve ever had,” said campus minister Philip Linkous, who serves with El Oasis in Santiago, Chile. “But what made it a true success is how we saw the community come together and bond throughout the weekend.”
A group of 12 students and two leaders from the La Ruta campus ministry in Montevideo, Uruguay, flew to Chile to be a part of their sister ministry’s retreat. Their visit was the big idea of La Ruta campus minister Claudia Ossa, who served as the speaker for the retreat. Claudia grew up in Santiago and formerly served at the Chilean ministry before starting La Ruta with her husband, David Ossa.
“By the end of the retreat you would have thought the students from La Ruta and El Oasis were old friends,” said Philip. “They played, laughed and danced together, joked about cultural differences, talked for hours and built genuine relationships. Now, all of our El Oasis students want to go visit their new friends at La Ruta!”
While the retreat featured games, talks, discussions, skits and campfires, two special events stood out.
“One really special moment occurred on Sunday after Claudia’s final talk, when the Uruguayan students served communion to our students from El Oasis,” said Philip.
And then there were the four baptisms and testimonies of students who attend the two ministries.
“Baptism means a new beginning, a commitment for me to live my life with God completely, to follow His word and be His daughter, to be an influencer for Him,” said Belén, an El Oasis student who made the decision to be baptized.
Lucia, a student in La Ruta, shared this testimony: “I decided to be baptized because I believe that I am ready to receive Jesus in my life. He woke me up and invaded my world!”
What a weekend!
“Globalscope retreats are always filled with excitement, but this retreat was special because interacting with the two groups of students drew everyone present into the story of what God is doing in South America in a tangible way,” said Philip.
The retreat was particularly meaningful for Felipe Orellana, a student in the El Oasis ministry. Claudia Ossa was his Sunday School teacher in Santiago when he was 6 years old. He recalled a prayer focus from an El Oasis gathering when La Ruta was just beginning.
“I finally got to see all that we had prayed for right in front of my own eyes!” he said.
“Felipe’s sentiments reflected our own,” said Philip. “We saw this weekend as an answered prayer and a dream that God has brought into reality by bringing these two ministries together!”
The Globalscope campus ministers in South America hope to continue the great relationship between their two countries’ ministries by sending a group from El Oasis to Uruguay in October for La Ruta’s annual retreat. You can help with your gifts here.