Missionary of the Month: Hans & Carrie Franzen
WEFC HAS SUPPORTED the Franzens since the early 90s. Initially, Hans served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) on the UCONN campus, and continues to live in the Storrs area. He currently serves as “Assistant National Director of Chapter Planting” for InterVarsity/USA. He oversees the chapter planting initiatives and training work of IV staff and students across the U.S., focusing on reaching all 3400 campuses in the United States with the gospel.
Did you know that over 2100 campuses presently have no active witnessing community? Hans works with staff teams and students across the country to be more effective in starting chapters on unserved campuses, as well as to sustain the work on established campuses. It is encouraging to hear that 40,000 college students are involved with InterVarsity across the U.S.
One of his priorities for this year is in training and empowering students on campuses across the U.S. to continue with bible studies, evangelistic groups, prayer groups, etc. Hans’ team would like to establish "witnessing communities" on 1000 campuses and has plans for planting IV chapters on 668 of them. Since there is not enough paid staff to do this, God is opening doors for them to empower students, church leaders, alumni and campus volunteers. This has been a huge initiative and has been met with a mixture of failure and success. The key is finding the right students to plant, at the right schools.
Hans says he works in an environment of great opportunity, especially the opportunity for students to make adult decisions for Christ! Some of the challenges he faces are obtaining enough funding and staff. Other more difficult challenges include working in environments that are not receptive to a Christian witness. He has encountered attitudes of racism, and at times, white supremacy on campuses. InterVarsity groups have also faced challenges in simply meeting on today’s campuses. Read one account here. All of these challenges are obvious matters for prayer.