Students in the En Vivo campus ministry are making some noise in Salamanca, Spain, to raise the community’s awareness of the scourge of human trafficking.
“Many of our students are moved by problems they notice in the world today,” said leadership team member Virginia Guimaraes. “The issue of human trafficking in particular has grabbed their attention this year, so our student leadership group, ‘The Nucleus,’ has launched an awareness campaign called ‘REACT.’ ”
The team is organizing a variety of activities, including film nights to showcase documentaries on trafficking and workshops at the universities. The biggest event, a 5K run called The Second Annual Salamanca Love Race, will be held on Feb. 13 to coincide with Valentine’s Day, and will raise funds for anti-trafficking groups that work with victims.
“It truly takes the whole town to make something like this work,” said Virginia. “We’ve already been interacting with the University of Salamanca, the National Police, City Hall and anti-trafficking organization in Spain.
“And in addition to raising awareness,” she added, “we’re also getting En Vivo’s name out there as a group that is trying to make a difference!”
Students and staff from the En Vivo campus ministry in Salamanca, Spain, will be racing for love on Valentine’s Day this Saturday.
The 5K Salamanca Love Race will raise funds to send some Spanish students to Mexico during spring break to build houses with the El Pozo campus ministry in Puebla. The ministry is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year by building 10 houses for poor families with Casas Por Cristo.
“We have four students who are seriously interested in making the trip, but it will cost about $4,000 to get them there,” said En Vivo campus minister Dan Dillard. “We’ve been working all year to help them raise this money in various ways, and the Love Race is one of them.”
The team has some help from local businesses in the form of prizes and publicity, and are hoping for a big turnout of runners.
“Our students have put a lot of work and prayer into this event and we pray their faithfulness will be rewarded,” added Dan. “Please pray for a miraculous turnout!”
Records have already been broken as the new school year begins at En Vivo campus house in Salamanca, Spain, according to Globalscope campus minister Dan Dillard.
“Last week we had nearly 100 students come to our international dinner on Tuesday, and then more than 80 at Café Inglés on Thursday, which is twice the normal amount and an En Vivo record,” he said. “We also have a full bus going to our beach retreat this weekend.”
“Numbers do not necessarily mean anything,” he added. “Even so, it is encouraging when we have the house full of people, because it means we have lots of opportunities to get to know students and share the gospel with them. It also means that word is getting out.”
The En Vivo team members are also encouraged by the growth they see in the student leaders and returning students.
“At dinner after Café Ingles last week, a girl who came for the first time was asking me about En Vivo,” said Dan. “Then a student who’s been around since last year offered his perspective. He said, ‘En Vivo is the best place I have seen where faith matches life. I have seen priests say things in the church but they don’t live like it. At En Vivo, they do.’ ”
A capital campaign held in a Tennessee church will provide the start-up funds for the launch of a brand new campus ministry in Valencia, Spain, according to Globalscope Director Phil Tatum.
While most capital campaigns are designed to raise funds for new buildings or debt reduction, Boone’s Creek Christian Church in Johnson City, Tenn., took a different approach.
“Boone’s Creek had a capital campaign called the 50:50 Challenge,” said Phil. “Half of the money they raised was to go to building debt reduction and the other half to special mission projects.”
The successful campaign raised $1.4 million, so about $700,000 will go straight to various mission projects, according to John Payne, who serves as chairman of Boone’s Creek’s Missions Ministry Team and also as the committee chair of the 50:50 Challenge. Jesse and Sophie Bentley, the long-time leaders of the campus ministry in Salamanca, Spain, applied for and received a grant of $30,000 from the church.
Part of the funds will be used for a scouting trip to Valencia, and the rest will be used the rent a campus house, purchase furnishings and provide for other start-up costs, explained Phil Tatum.
“We’re recruiting the team of campus ministers now,” he says. “It will be made up of both Spaniards and Americans. We hope to launch the ministry in September 2015.”
Phil and the Bentleys were delighted with the Boone’s Creek continuing commitment to Globalscope.
“We hope this will be a model for partnership with other supporting churches,” said Phil. “We have a vision of planting five new campus ministries by 2018, so we plan to begin developing relationships with more core churches like BCCC, who sign on to support the ministry, not just the missionary.”
From BCCC’s perspective, it was an easy decision to add the Globalscope project to the list of grant recipients, says John Payne.
“Jesse and Sophie moved to Johnson City in 2002 to attend Emmanuel Christian Seminary and quickly became part of the church,” he said. “They consider BCCC to be their home church so we decided to become a major supporter of their campus mission in Spain. So we were already excited about the work they’ve been doing.”
“Success builds upon success,” he added. “Seeing another campus ministry established is the next logical step for the ministry.”
Boone’s Creek is very committed to Globalscope’s mission of reaching international college students with the gospel.
“Colleges influence young people in positive or negative ways and so help shape the future of any culture and country,” said John. “If we can influence young people to give their lives to Christ, they will carry those values into their work place, community and culture. Campus ministry provides that opportunity. We believe it can make a real impact.”
Bego Haces, a college student in Puebla, Mexico, has been a valuable part of the Globalscope El Pozo campus ministry for the past five years. Now she’s making plans to extend her ministry by spending a year working with the Globalscope Spain campus ministry in Salamanca.
CMF campus minister Kami Burns first met Bego in 2008 when Kami went on a mission trip with the Georgia Tech campus ministry to build houses in Mexico. A team from El Pozo met them there to help out, and Bego, a young girl from Acapulco in her first semester of college, was a member of the team. Kami and Bego became friends and their relationship grew steadily as Bego was baptized and Kami joined the team there as a campus minister and team leader.
“Over the past five years Bego has been a student leader in every sense of the word at El Pozo,” said Kami. “She’s been part of discipleship groups, spoken at our events, traveled to the U.S. to help out with our (fund-raiser) golf tournament and given of her time and energy to help make El Pozo the place that it is. She has become a dear friend to not only me but to all of our staff, and is a source of constant encouragement for us because she ‘gets’ campus ministry and understands that her role is not just to receive, but to serve this ministry and her campus.”
Not only has Bego served unselfishly at El Pozo, but she’s also demonstrated a real heart for evangelism by bringing many others to the ministry with her.
“When Bego told me she wanted to work abroad for a year,” said Kami, “her reason was that ‘if I go somewhere new, every person I meet will be a person that I can share Jesus with.’ And although Bego knew Jesus become coming to El Pozo, she has become the minister that she is through campus ministry.”
Kami adds that Bego was a little afraid that Kami would be disappointed that she wanted to continue her ministry abroad and not at El Pozo, but that wasn’t the case at all.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my dear friend Bego,” said Kami, “and I love the fact that El Pozo is sending out its second missionary! Thank God for Bego’s part in the story of El Pozo; this ministry is what it is because of her. Join me in praying for her as she raises support and prepares to head to Salamanca in June.”