Campus ministry reaches out to students without knowledge of Christ

By January 13, 2010

Netherlands (MNN) — Around 600,000 students attend universities in the Netherlands. However, only six percent are evangelical Christians. Among college students alone, there is a great need for the Gospel there.

However, many non-believers have no idea they are missing something.

"There is growing up a new generation who [has] never heard the Gospel, who don't read the Bible and who don't have Christian friends. And our big question is: ‘Who shall bring the Gospel to them?'" said Bert den Hertog of IFES-BIS.

Churches are not stepping up to the task at hand, said den Hertog.

"Although there are nice things happening, we're seeing that most churches are very focused on themselves," den Hertog said. They lack vision.

So, IFES-BIS (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students-Board of International Student work), is the Netherland equivalent of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, is using a variety of ministries to reach out to those without Christ around the country.

Three thousand students are involved in IFES-BIS, wanting to show Christ's love to their fellow students. Nearly 80,000 international students attend universities in the Netherlands, and Christian students have made a point to reach out them and make them feel welcomed. Many of these students come from closed countries such as China, Iran and Iraq, and few have heard about Christ.

Additionally, nearly one million Muslims inhabit the country, with the majority being third generation. Den Hertog said there are specific people in their ministry reaching out to Muslims.

Surprisingly, failed attempst to reach these people are not usually from the Muslims lack of cooperation or unwillingness to listen. Instead, many Christians are not willing to share.

"The breakthrough of the Kingdom is not because people don't want to listen to Jesus Christ or the Gospel. If we as Christians are too busy with ourselves, we have big problems," he said.

Thus, the downside of IFES-BIS's ministry has been the Church's inward focus, rather than vast amount of people still unreached.

IFES-BIS hopes to change this focus.

Den Hertog asks you to pray for the people without Christ in the Netherlands; pray that through their ministry many will turn to Christ. Pray also that Christians will refocus and sense the burden of so many lost souls.

If you would like to contact den Hertog, you can do so by emailing him at [email protected] You can also check out the ministry's Web site at ifes-bis.nl.

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