Seeds of transformation: Project Showcases update 

Jeremiah 29:7 calls us to “seek the peace and prosperity” of our communities. At the LCI Project Showcases, more than 20 Catalysts presented some of the creative ways that their projects are sowing seeds of transformation in their societies– from food security to biomedical advances.  

Almost 100 guests attended each of the Logos and Cosmos Initiative online “galas” – one for Latin America and one for Francophone Africa. Catalysts shared the latest news on their theology and the sciences projects, including how they are inviting others from their IFES national movements to join them in bringing the shalom of God to their communities. Both Showcase events also featured our new video overview of the LCI.  

Projects that serve the whole community 

One aspect of the presentations which piqued the audience’s interest was the fact that several projects serve or involve students and faculty from multiple faith backgrounds. 

“Among the people we provided mental support to, it was a mixed group,” said Sarah Obotela from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Most of them were non-Christians.” 

Sarah is leading a project that supports students who have experienced conflict-related trauma in the DRC. 

A screenshot of participants at the Francophone Africa gala

“When you’re talking about students who have experienced war-related trauma, you can’t necessarily divide them up by religion – they’re all victims,” she said.  

Similarly, a team of three Catalysts from Côte d’Ivoire noted that their project has provided free counselling to students who are Christians, Muslims or those that follow traditional African religions.  

Likewise, Dr Albertine Bayompe Kabou from Senegal reported that evangelical Christians, Catholics and Muslim students have participated in the entrepreneurial training offered by her project. The goal is to help students find innovative ways to get out of poverty. A dozen students have received training in transformational leadership, entrepreneurial mindset and social entrepreneurship, and have been coached in developing business plans and securing investment.  

At the Latin American Showcase, Álvaro Pérez from Ecuador was asked about how interested researchers are in joining conversations about science and religion.  

A screenshot of Álvaro Pérez  presenting a slide about his project

Álvaro, who is leading a project about the bioethics of human gene editing, explained that he has been pleasantly surprised by the reaction his project has received from faculty members at his university, particularly those who don’t follow Jesus.  

“An Atheist professor, who teaches bioethics at my university, was very open to participating in a video interview and speaking at a discussion event where two other Christians were on the panel,” Álvaro said. 

“At the event, we were able to look for common ground from different perspectives. We came together to promote the use of these kinds of therapies to treat disease. At the end of the discussion, the conclusions were the same among the three speakers, for example the need for effective regulation from ethics committees on research involving human genome editing.” 

Echo our prayers for further gospel-change 

The Project Showcases’ theme of “Seeds of Transformation” conveyed how Catalysts’ projects are beginning to impact their universities, IFES national movements and wider communities. Yet we recognize that the issues that many Catalysts’ projects are tackling are huge and complex. The full outcome of these projects may take years to come to fruition.  

We invite you to join us in praying that these seeds of transformation will grow and bear fruit for the glory of God’s kingdom, and that more students and academics will be inspired to use their academic disciplines to share the love of Christ and help their communities flourish.  

We hope you will be inspired to echo some words of prayer spoken at our Project Showcase events. 

David Bahena, Associate General Secretary of IFES, closed the Latin America showcase in prayer, saying: 

“Father, thank you for the work of your spirit, Lord, awakening interest, restlessness and providing creativity. Thank you, Lord, for awakening a new generation that longs and desires to walk with you in the academic and university world. Help us Lord, to serve in the fields of knowledge to which we have been called, to seek the transformation of our society, to seek a deeper understanding of the problems that we are addressing. And help us Lord to transmit this to the student movements. We pray that every dimension of our reality and our work will be permeated by you and that we will seek to bear witness to your grace and love. Amen in Jesus’ name, Amen and Amen.” 

Professor Valentin Ngouyamsa from Cameroon, one of the LCI’s advocates (mentors), served as emcee for the Francophone Africa event, and closed with these words of prayer: 

“Thank you for the wonders that you are doing through this program. Lord, we know that you are the builder, and we trust you to continue building the people that we are and that you keep using us as a cornerstone in this program to be able to impact universities. We pray that you renew the strength of the Catalysts …and that you give them wisdom to complete their projects. May your will be done in all of this. Amen.” 

For more information: 

  • Watch the 5-minute video about the LCI that was shown at the Showcase events  
  • Visit our projects webpages for summaries and videos about Catalysts’ projects 

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