Encouraging Seventh-day Adventist professionals and university students to become missionaries is what drove Adventist Church leaders in Colombia to hold an Adventist Professionals and University Students International Missionary Congress in August 2018. Themed I Will Go Too 3.0, the event became the third-largest gathering at 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 are needed around the world.
The mission is clear, said Colombia Adventist University president Abraham Acosta, who was the main organizer of the event. “We are here to form missionaries, so they can reach Colombia and the rest of the world,” he said.
The Mission Congress, which has been held on campus every two years for the past six years, included dozens of seminars and presentations by 22 experts and guest speakers. They presented on 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, the best ways to share the gospel, reaching the secular mind, reaching other religions, and more.
The four-day event, held August 22-25, 2018, also included the first children’s version of missionary focus titled 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,” Acosta said.
The event saw church pastors and administrators from across Colombia prepare to take home the training and inspiration so that they can 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 event, 22 volunteers registered for mission service in Colombia and 89 signed up to take part internationally. The previous Mission Congress, held in 2016, saw five missionaries begin to serve internationally in the mission field, organizers said.
Inter-American church region Adventist Mission director Samuel Telemaque congratulated the school for its commitment to inspiring young people to become engaged in missionary service.
“This university is becoming a leader in Inter-America in promoting and sending voluntary missionaries abroad,” said Telemaque. He added that one student would be selected by the church’s administration to visit Israel in February.
The congress was streamed live online on a variety of social media platforms.
Administrators from both Colombia’s north and south church regions vowed to seek out young professionals and students to take part in mission service for the church.
The next I Will Go Too Mission Congress is planned for 2020.