TSCF hosted the once-in-a-uni-lifetime South Pacific Regional Conference during the winter holidays. The International Fellowship of Evangelical Students’ four-yearly conference gave students and staff an opportunity to get to know each other’s contexts better, and to pray, learn, and play together.
Mack Stiles, who has written on evangelism and works with students in the Middle East, returned for his second stint as conference speaker. The newest student representatives for TSCF share their perspective on the week.
I was one of the Lincoln University CF students who attended SPARC, along with around 150 other tertiary students. Over the five days we met people from many countries and learnt about ministry on their campuses and their desire to see more students come to know Christ. We heard about new ways we could minister to our peers, including a bigger understanding of prayer and events that cater for non-Christian and Christian students alike. We also talked about giving God the space to move instead of trying to do things in our own power.
This and the broad range of workshops affirmed our vision. Since returning to campus, I have put a greater emphasis on prayer and started a one-on-one Bible study with a new Christian friend. LUCF has started highlighting teaching from SPARC with those who did not attend, and we organised an evangelism week with several workshops.
– Michael Bresler
SPARC was my first TSCF conference. It was exciting to know that students from across the South Pacific and beyond were congregating in our back yard. It was an incredible experience to meet students for Christ representing Australia, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Hawaii, Ecuador, Chile and Korea. Every one brought a piece of their home country, or “a slice of Heaven,” into our midst. Their presence brought a vibrant and joyful energy, as Ecuadorians taught us to dance the cha-cha and bachata, and Hawaiians led us in worship on the pahu and ukulele. Our voices joined together to sing “Holy Spirit come” in a multitude of languages – all of us, united as one family beneath the cross.
The conversations with students outside of my group uplifted my faith. I learned that regardless where you are from, being a student for Christ is challenging and often uncomfortable. Many struggle with apathy, or finding the boldness to witness to their peers. I was encouraged by their determination to spread the gospel despite the hardships.
God is using students as Christ’s ambassadors. We are blessed with the ability to reach out and influence those in our community, as well as with the freedom to continue learning and growing.
– Jenny Huang
Check out the SPARC photo album on Facebook.