Pastor Hiram Ruiz, public campus ministries director for the church in Inter-America reminds hundreds of Adventist university students how the church wants to see them succeed in their studies, their spiritual life and their careers, during the church’s online training programs on Oct. 18, 2020. [Photo: IAD screenshot]
Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

S eventh-day Adventist students who study on public university campuses across the Inter-American Division territory were reminded how much the church cares for their academic success, their spiritual growth, and their role in sharing hope around them during special online programs on Oct. 18, 2020. The day’s event followed on the heels of the church’s Global Public Campus Ministries Weekend online event on Oct. 16-17, designed to empower students to be disciples of Jesus and share the gospel on and outside the campuses where they study.
“We want you to be sure that there is a God who is with you and a church that loves and cares for you as you experience university life and grow in the mission he has for you,” said Pastor Hiram Ruiz, public campus ministries director for the church in Inter-America.

The Oct. 18 live online programs drew more than 800 students connected on the Facebook Live and YouTube transmissions, organizers said.

Navigating through challenging times

“It was important for us to dialogue with students who are just beginning their experience on public campuses, those who have been studying for several years and those who just graduated at a time where the lockdown of the pandemic crisis has interrupted the way they study and see the future,” said Ruiz.

The events were intended to provide tools and orientation so that students can navigate through these challenging times as they plan and move toward the future, explained Ruiz.

Church leaders and professional experts were featured in a series of short talks on developing their gifts and talents, reaffirming their identity as Seventh-day Adventists, becoming effective ambassadors for Christ, time management, identifying their spiritual purpose, pursuing emotional intelligence, and more.

Pressures facing public university students

Pastor Robert Costa, associate ministerial association director for the Adventist world church, spoke to university students on the privilege, honor, and responsibility that they carry on campus.

Costa encouraged students to pursue a deep commitment to connecting with God by studying the bible and listening to God’s voice every day, praying every day to recharge their spiritual batteries, as well as praying for others, and become dedicated witnesses to those around them as they organize small groups and begin inviting others on campus to join and learn about God and his love. “Let your light shine always,” he said.

Taking the gospel to another level

Letting their light shine for Jesus on campus is what Pako Mokgwane, Adventist World Church’s Public Campus Ministries director, was referring to as he encouraged university students to take the gospel to another level.

“You have a significant contribution to make on public campuses. God will use you so you can fulfill the mission,” he said. “Dedicate your talents to God’s service. Don’t lose your vision and your identity as Seventh-day Adventists.” 

Mokgwane encouraged students to get involved in mission as detailed in the world church’s I Will Go initiatives for the next quinquennium.

PCM Connect application

A new mobile device application was unveiled called PCM Connect where those who download the app can connect to PCM events led by Inter-America’s PCM, as well as connect other Adventist students across different public campuses in different countries and islands in the territory. The app, which was developed by Emmanuel de Oleo from the Dominican Republic and Arturo Temoltzin of Mexico, is available on Android and iOS devices and will be officially launched before the end of this month, leaders said.

“We are delighted to provide this app that will connect thousands of students in the 250 PCM groups throughout Inter-America, so they can network, learn from each other on initiatives, and impact activities on their campuses and communities,” said Ruiz.

To keep up with updates, download the PCM Connect app, search on Instagram, or Facebook @PCMConnect.

Entrepreneurship Festival program

In an earlier online event, university seniors, recent graduates, and young professionals took part in a four-hour online zoom training event called Entrepreneurship Festival Part 1. The event featured business owners and experts teaching them how to start their own business, how to pitch a business venture, and how to generate income, remain good stewards, and work from home to support themselves and impact needs in the community as they transition from graduation into earning a living.

“We know that if you as young people and university students put your talents to work in God’s service, he will multiply your personal businesses, and guide you into making those businesses a center of influence to impact everyone you come in contact with or do business with,” said Ruiz.

Trusting in God moving forward

Pastor Elie Henry, Inter-American Division President, addressed the hundreds of public campus university students to put their trust in God first and foremost.

“You are in a very crucial stage in your life and it’s important that you take firm steps for your future as we live in this particular time of earth’s history,” he said. “Move forward with God. He is with you and has promised to guide you as you journey to be a shining light to those in need of the everlasting hope.”

The online PCM events serve as union programs that can be followed throughout the territory, said Pastor Ruiz. “We want every PCM chapter across the territory to be closely cared for and connected to a strong PCM union and local field leadership,” he said.

Inter-America’s Public Campus Ministries will hold an Entrepreneurship Festival Part 2, where young professionals can pitch their business ideas to a panel of experts on Nov. 22, 2020, from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Time. To register for the event, Click HERE for English, HERE for Spanish.

To watch Inter-America’s PCM Event of Oct. 18, 2020, 7:30-11pm, Click HERE.

This article was originally published on the Inter-America Division’s website