IFES IRELAND: The Christian Unions
…is about STUDENTS
Students who believe; many who don’t believe; but students who need to hear about and know the reality of God’s grace and love. Students like Aoife in Galway who came to faith last year through the witness of friends in the Christian Union.
And students are the best people to reach students – as Ciara found out: “I wanted to pass on some encouragement from CU’s mission week. A girl from my course wanted to find out more, so we started Uncover [studies in the gospel of Luke] together. After one of the studies, she came to one of the Lunch Bars at mission week. I was blown away when afterwards she told me that it all made so much sense! Over the summer, I got a text from her saying that she had just become a Christian!”
…with the GOOD NEWS
Through the Uncover project, every Christian Union in Ireland was supplied with Gospels of Luke to give to each of the students at their University.
…helping students to THINK Christianly – and make a difference on Campus
Universities have been described as “the secular cathedrals” of today. Is there a place for Biblical Christianity in their marketplace of ideas? We believe there is. Is a Christian worldview not only tenable, but actually the only one that makes sense of the often confusing world our students find themselves in? We believe it is – and we want to help Christian students get the message out.
…learning to LEAD
IFES Ireland is a student-led movement. CUs give young leaders their first opportunity to lead by serving on Exec., co-ordinating events, leading missions, planning for retreats, and more. Above all, we expose them to what it means to be a Godly leader, and deal with issues of character as well as competence: young leaders like Lois and Olive who lead the CU in Dundalk IT. God convicted the girls during the summer, and they returned this September fired up to make Jesus known there. About 30 students signed up for the CU at Clubs and Societies day!
…given opportunities to SERVE
IFES Ireland offers young graduates the opportunity to give a year to assist Staff Workers and serve the CUs as a Relay worker. Dan says this of his Relay experience: “It has changed my life from the moment I started, and is challenging me in ways I never expected. The opportunity to serve outside my comfort zone, on the front line of campus ministry, has aroused such an insatiable hunger to know God and make Him known!”
Irish students have also recently worked with IFES student movements in Spain, France, Belarus, Thailand, Italy, and also Malta, where one of our Relay workers, Hannah, went recently: “It was the most challenging week of mission that I’ve ever been involved in… but I saw God prevail every day. A young woman gave her life to the Lord, and in her own words said, ‘It is my goal to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ and to draw people to Him.’. Serving just doesn’t get any sweeter than that!”
…and strengthening the CHURCH, throughout the world
We are part of a worldwide body, reaching students in over 150 countries. In partnering with IFES Ireland, you are also partnering with student bodies in other countries and continents. But, equally importantly, students from dozens of countries come to us. IFES Ireland runs five International Cafes in Dublin, and participates in another three in Belfast. In the summer, international outreaches in Dublin and Cork succeeded in reach students from countries where Christian witness is very difficult, or even forbidden. Here are two exciting stories:
M writes: “I came from North Africa to study… I met these two Jesus-followers who were passing out questionnaires… I arranged to meet them again for coffee after Ramadan had ended. I can see that Jesus could well be the Son of God but I must meet up again and find out more over time. In the meantime, this is exciting enough news; I must introduce them to the religious community and others in the city.”
S is a Chinese student who professed faith in Christ whilst in Dublin. She linked up with Trinity CU’s Globe Cafe and a local church International Cafe. The CU’s weekend away was a highlight of her time in Dublin, and she went on the study the Bible with an IFES worker. As time progressed, S came to faith, and recently returned to China. She is part of a local fellowship, now with a new identity in Christ to be a witness in this vast country where traditional missionaries are not allowed!
How can you help?
We believe that, although we are a student ministry, the fruits of our work can last for a lifetime. One parent told an IFES Ireland Staff Worker: “CU has transformed our child at home and really changed them and helped them to grow in their faith. We are just so thankful that we thought we’d get in touch and let you know.”
If students are reached and discipled well during their college years, they become the workers, parents, and church leaders of the future.
Will you be a part of this vision?
10% of those who receive our information give regularly to the work… if the other 90% each gave only £15 / €18 per year, or 30% more gave £45 / €55 per year, we could fund a Staff Worker.
Please visit our giving page to see the number of ways you can partner with us financially.