IFES’ student leadership conference “Formacion” was held from the 1st to the 14th of August in Poland. There were over 140 students in attendance at the conference from over 40 nations, including four participants and a student worker from BCSU. One of the conference speakers was Charlie Hadjiev, a member of the board of directors of BCSU. The main theme of the conference was "Called to Lead," and students examined the life of Moses, as it is described in the book of Exodus, and learned about the different stages in the history of a leader. They had the opportunity to analyze their own life timeline and how the Lord has used different experiences and situations in their lives to call them into the role of a leader. During the conference, each group had time to analyze how global changes such as globalization, social networks, the wave of refugees and terrorism affect students around the world and how we should perceive these events as Christians. Each of the students participated in a study that helped them to know themselves better as well as to know their strengths and talents in order to develop them.
From the very beginning of the conference, prayer was given priority - an incredible prayer tent was created with different rooms for different purposes and more than 30 students each morning gathered in prayer together. An evening for prayer and worship was also organized, during which we prayed for cities and countries in Europe, and every morning and evening session we had prayer partners available.
And that's not all! One day a "living library" was organized where students could learn from the lives of people with special experience in leadership. Throughout the conference the small groups slowly but surely turned into great teams of people who served one another and learned from one another. At various stages of Formacion participants received very practical resources and learned through experiences in the form of games and simulations. One day all the students were awakened at 5:30 am with music and were sent in groups on a 20-km hike with various tasks along the way. The next day all had the opportunity to spend more than five hours in quiet time with Jesus – which is something that does not happen easily in this age of communication.
A fun cultural evening, as well as several workshops and films related to the topic of mentoring were also organized. All were challenged to respond to God's call to develop their talents and to bring what they had learned with them to their student movements. Our students are still filled with excitement and gratitude because of the opportunity they had to participate in this event. The participants are encouraged to become students who continue to yearn to serve God wholeheartedly and to choose to say "yes" to God's call despite the difficulties they will surely face. We believe and pray that each of us will be light in the places where we live and to be people who bring the gospel to our friends, people at our universities and in our country.