Veteran South American missionary Jack Voelkel will speak in Northwestern College’s chapel service on Monday, Feb. 21, at 10:05 a.m. Appearing under the auspices of the Ronald R. Nelson Scholars and Artists in Residence Program, he will share about his experience in the mission field.
In 1968, as members of the Latin America Mission, Voelkel and his wife, Mary Anne, began to participate in the evangelization of Colombian university students, starting as a professor at the National University in Bogotá. The ministry then spread to other universities in 11 cities. “From the beginning our desire was to help new Christians grow in their faith and then develop leaders among them,” says Voelkel. After 20 years, the couple left the movement and it became a student-directed ministry under Colombian leadership.
The Voelkels left Colombia in 2000 and began work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a ministry that establishes witnessing communities of students and faculty at various universities. The organization conducts Bible studies, leadership training, and large conferences and events such as the Urbana Student Mission Convention. The Voelkels contributed in planning and organizing for the Urbana convention for over five years.
Voelkel served as interim president of Latin America Mission in 2007–2008. He and his wife now live in Tucson, Ariz., and Jack contributes to columns on the Urbana.org website. He still travels frequently and visits Colombia each year to teach at the Biblical Seminary in Medellin.