The winter conference we have been talking about for-ev-er! I think I've shared how this was New Zealand's first time hosting an international conference, so it was pretty exciting to see everything come together. About 500 students attended representing 40 different country of origin! So crazy. The opening ceremony starting with a parade of nations.
The theme of the conference was all about the Lordship of Christ. Students heard about why Christ should be Lord over all areas of our lives, and then challenged to take steps of faith. Whether that be sharing Christ with their friends, or in their future workplaces, or going on a summer project, or even interning with Student Life for a year.
Roger Hershey flew in from the States to speak at the conference. I've heard him at a similar conference back in the States and still remember what he talked about, so it was fun to see our students get to hear the same teaching.
The conference was over the 4th of July, so we had an American moment when everyone allowed us to sing the United States national anthem. There were about 40 Americans in attendance, with a summer project here and all of the STINTers from the Oceania region. Dave (a STINTer in Fiji) belted his heart out:
On the fun night, one of the campuses hosted a Kiwi hoe-down. Ha, most of the Kiwis had no idea what that meant. They should have just said American hoe-down :)
On the last night, they held a commissioning ceremony where students were challenged with specific action points to take away from conference. It always amazes me to see how God works to teach and challenge students at conferences like this.
Sarah and I with three of our amazing student leaders:
One of the highlights of conference, for me, was during our "country time" when we were with just the NZ students. There were about 200 kiwi students there, and Justin our National Director asked all of the students who were studying in NZ but weren't originally from NZ to stand up. Almost half of the room stood up, and I was reminded at how international this country is. There are so many students from China, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa, Australia, the Pacific Islands, and so many more. It's so interesting! And so many of those students want to go back to their home countries and make an impact for Christ. It gets me excited!