In May, Fritz and Jim set off for a two-week visit to the United States. Their purpose was three-fold: to visit Christian study centres at four US universities; to make connections within the US YMCA; and to visit with existing donors and Y alumni.
The trip provided affirmation as well as new ideas for how to help students think deeply about their faith in Christ and how that informs their academic interests and life aspirations.
At the UCT Y, placing Christ firmly at the centre of our vision and activities is non-negotiable. But how we do this as a Christian study centre, a model of ministry that doesn’t exist in Africa, is not so clear. An important goal of the trip, therefore, was to visit other centres doing faith-life integrative work similar to the UCT Y. It was inspiring to see how they use their space to offer a hospitable, thoughtful Christian witness on their respective campuses.
An invitation to Fritz to serve as a keynote speaker at a YMCA conference was the catalyst for the trip. It was a great honour that Fritz was able to share something of our own Y at a prestigious gathering such as this. Fritz and Jim spent a few days coming to understand how committed Christians working within a largely secularized US YMCA are seeking to reinvigorate the “C” within the acronym.
Lastly, Fritz and Jim visited some of our donors in the eastern US who contributed to our 75:25 capital campaign and enjoyed deepening relationships with them. It was wonderful to meet with other Kingdom-minded people who are excited about the ministry at the UCT Y.