Wow! What a weekend! It was such a crazy mix of old & new friends, experiences, and challenges! The conference is made up of several parts: The Gathering, Meal With A missionary, The Experiences, Prayer for the Nations & the Exhibit Hall. I think I’ll give each one it’s own post! (An d then lots of pictures to come from NYE 2012! Emphasis on sparkly dresses!!)
Let’s start with the experiences, shall we? I think this is a component of the World Missions Summit that sets it apart- they are really well done and an excellent opportunity to connect with missionaries.
asia pacific: this was maybe my favorite experience. It was low lit in the room & had several prayer stations- where you could pray for the countries of Asia Pacific in creative ways. One station you we to write one of your talents on a piece of balsa wood and then toss it in a pool of water to symbolize giving of your talents and gifting in missions. My favorite part was at the end when each one of us were given a necklace made by retired missionaries. They strung a coin from their country on the necklace & prayed for it. There was a note attached with the missionaries name and a challenge to “spend yourself” for the Gospel. So special.
europe: the Europe experience was in a totally dark room- Europe can sometimes be referred as the “dark continent”- less than 3% of the population are evangelical Christians. They gave us each flashlights and talked about several really cool & creative things that are being done to reach the people of Europe. (Like On The Red Box & Convoy of Hope Europe.) It was kind of startling to be in so much darkness and there were only tiny flashlights. It was a great representation of how dark Europe is spiritually.
eurasia: Eurasia is an…experience! you wait in line for customs where they are very intense. If you have a Bible, they throw you in jail. You travel through a bazaar with people shoving things in your face and trying to entice you into their stores. People even get pick pocketed It’s over whelming, but then they share the great need in the region of euraisa. between the Middle East, Siberia, and all the other countries, it’s a very spiritually diverse and spiritually in need.
chi alpha: this was one of my favorite experiences. Obviously I cried. They had a circus theme and talked about what defines the “American dream.” They asked if you were willing to give up your ideas of success for God’s plan for the campus. It was really powerful! Like I wish I could explain it, but it was so powerful.
xai: this theme was by far my favorite! The steampunk approach they took asked, “do you have the time to reach out to international students and change the course of history?” Thousands of influencers from around the globe will study in the United States- what will we do about ?
These are the reasons I call this weekend “missionary Disneyland”- they really bring the global need of the Gospel to life. Students were challenged and connected to missionaries for around the world through experiences they will never ever forget!
[This is a part of a series on my experience at The World Missions Summit- an event gathering 4500 Chi Alpha students seeking God’s Heart for the world. You can read the other parts here
– Meal With A Missionary