I do believe that this training is equipping me for great things to come, that it is training me for my future.
Do you ever wonder if it is really worth spending precious resources on student conferences? Perhaps these events are just times of fun and fellowship, chances to escape the real world that deliver a spiritual ‘high’ that quickly fades.
We’ve recently heard from students in Latin America and South Africa who have been deeply changed by attending leadership development events. I’ll let them speak for themselves.
Paúl Ruiz Salgado, of CECNIC Nicaragua writes: ‘A passion for service was ignited in me, raising to a new level the call to being a staff worker. Although I am well aware that the challenge is great and the road difficult, I'm willing to do this because I know that God is faithful and that I don’t walk alone.’
Kevin Moreno of CEC Panama describes the same conference as ‘one of the most striking chapters of my life. In each talk, God confronted me, challenged me and gave me confidence in taking my leadership role at my university seriously, giving me a new vision, challenging me to give my best in the movement and in the place where I am.’
Doris Elena Rodríguez, also from CEC Panama, writes about the event: ‘It was a period of training in courage, in power and mercy. Today I value sharing the word of truth with my fellow college classmates in a way they can understand, and I lift up my face to proclaim it as one who does not need to be ashamed. I’ve decided to be like Timothy who, even with his weaknesses, fears and frequent illnesses, was called to exhort and preach.’
Across the Atlantic Ocean, Henry Msimango, a student in SCO South Africa, has attended several leadership camps and was elected chair of the student executive committee of his province. Here’s how Motseki Sosibo, a staff worker with SCO, describes him: ‘Henry is one of the students whom I’ve seen changing in a very amazing way. He has a real heart for serving other students, not only members of his group, but all students in the university. He takes genuine interest in getting to know students and caring for them. Before he even tells them about SCO and the gospel, he wants to know them at a personal level. Students love him!’
How does Henry view his time as a student leader of SCO? ‘I want to do missions when I finish my degree, and I do believe that this training is equipping me for great things to come, that it is training me for my future. My desire is to share God’s word with the nations and I have made up my mind that I want to be more equipped every day to stand for the gospel. So pray for me, for courage and strength to stand and also not to go astray from God’s will.’
The challenge of leadership is not an easy one for the current generation, who look around and see leaders who are corrupt, greedy, self-righteous and abusers of power. Please pray that God will continue to use IFES leadership development conferences all over the world to raise up Christian leaders of integrity and wisdom.