Mexico City Mission Trip Part 4: UNAM

On Thursday we teamed up with some campus missionaries from Campus Crusade / Enfoque, some of which have committed to be in Mexico City from 1 to 4 years, to hang out at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México or UNAM for short. Mexico City has over 100 college campuses including the largest university in Latin America, UNAM, which has over 300,000 students. On top of being the largest it is also the most prestigious university in Latin America. Someone called it the "Harvard of Mexico". Even though it's one of the largest universities in the world, there is not a single Christian ministry/organization with a presence on the campus. The folks at Enfoque have made it their goal to not only begin ministries on UNAM but on ever college campus in the country of Mexico (presently over 400 colleges).

Our goal was simple, meet students, get to know them, discover where they were at spiritually, and invite them to a future campus small group / bible study. Once we arrived we split up into a few different teams and headed out across campus. Kipp, Jeremy, Daniel R., Timmy, and I found a local basketball court and proceeded to play 2 1/2 hours straight of pick-up basketball.

A few observations: The average height of a Mexican student was probably 5'6", so Kipp, Jeremy, and Timmy were like giants on the court. Also, playing at sea level where we live is a lot different then playing at 8,000 ft which is where Mexico City is. Jeremy believes he had at least 2 1/2 heart attacks while playing.
As we played basketball, we had a chance to meet several students, all of which were excited to meet us and very receptive to all we had to say. We met one student named Bee sweat (I'm sure that's not how you spell it but that is how it is pronounced) He could have passed as Jeremy's Mexican twin (except much cooler - Jeremy's words not mine). We also met a girl name Matilde who described herself as a nerd and her hobbies are basketball and learning other languages. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French, and some German.

None of the student we met described themselves as Christian and in fact Beesweat said he was Buddhist. Out of the 300,000 students on campus, it is believed that less that 1% are followers of Jesus. One of the more emotionally moving moments of the afternoon came when some of the girls in our group noticed some young children (2-6 years old) digging through the trash to find some food. Our girls bought some drinks and fruit and helped feed the kids. It is estimated that over 1,000,000 children are homeless in Mexico City.

That night, much like Tuesday and Wednesday nights, we ventured out into the city for dinner and a bit of sight seeing. Mexico City is not the most beautiful city during the day but at night it really seems like a different place.


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