E ncouraging Seventh-day Adventist professionals and university students to become missionaries is what has driven church leaders in Colombia to hold an Adventist Professionals and University Students International Missionary Congress last month. Themed I Will Go Too 3.0, the event became the third largest gathering at the Colombia Adventist University in Medellín, Colombia.
More than 1,500 church leaders, professionals, students and active church members were motivated to answer the call to serve in the mission field in the harder-to-reach regions in Colombia or any place they were needed around the world.
The mission is clear, said Abraham Acosta, president of Colombia Adventist University, and main organizer of the congress. “We are here to form missionaries so they can reach Colombia and the rest of the world,” he said.
The congress, which has been gathering every two years during the past six years on campus, included dozens of seminars and presentations by 22 experts and guest speakers on various topics such as becoming a successful missionary, reaching the cities, dealing with challenges in the mission field, becoming a better preacher, reaching those in prisons, strategies on how to share the gospel, reaching the secular mind, reaching other religions, and more.
The four-day event, held Aug. 22-25, also included the first children’s version of missionary focus coined as I Will Go Too Kids. Children ages 7 to 12 took part in missionary training through bible stories and activities. “We know that many of the children here will become future missionaries that God will use to finish the work,” said Acosta.
The event saw church pastors and administrators from across Colombia take back the training, and inspiration to share with their congregations the need to engage professionals and students in missionary service in their local communities and beyond.
“It is important to reach those who are not yet reached,” said Richard Elofer, World Jewish Adventist Friendship Center director, as he addressed the gathering. “The mission is to reach persons from another culture and evangelism is to be able to take the message inside one same country.”
Church leaders reported that at the end of the congress, 22 volunteers registered to be part of mission service in Colombia and 89 signed up to take part internationally. The previous congress held two years ago saw five missionaries serve internationally in the mission field, organizers said.
Samuel Telemaque, director of the Office of Adventist Mission in Inter-America, congratulated the university for its commitment to inspiring young people to get engaged in missionary service.
“This university is becoming a leader in Inter-America in promoting and sending voluntary missionaries abroad,” said Telemaque. Telemaque added that one student will be selected by the church’s administration to visit Israel in February.
The congress was streamed live online in different social media platforms.
Administrators from both the church’s north and south major regions, or unions, vowed to seek out young professionals and students to take part in mission service for the church.
Organizers are planning to hold the fourth version of the I Will Go Too in 2020.
To learn more about the Colombia Adventist University and its programs and initiatives, visit unac.edu.co