Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Weekend in Warsaw [First College-Age Conference in Poland]

Last weekend, I had the privilege to attend the first ever College-Age Conference in Warsaw, Poland, with 5 other dear university students from the UK. It was an awesome time of enjoying the Lord, being blended, and being built!

We began our trip Friday morning by gathering together at Stratford station in London. Our Ryanair flight was a brisk 2-hour flight that was followed by another 4-hour trek along the streets of Poland. We were squeezed unto a shuttle, got a rucksack (the British term for "backpack") strap stuck in the train, exited through emergency exits on the underground, and given a massage in the bus. Then, we got greeted by two Polish university students, Mira and Michael, who came out to meet us at the bus stop. Praise the Lord! One thing I've realized through this adventurous journey through Poland is that whatever the situation and the environment, it's so good to be able to spend it with saints and to see the saints!

The conference began that same night we arrived in Poland. The messages, of course, were given in Polish. I was impressed that the ones who were doing the translations were university students (Bartek and Lukas) who were close to our age. They did an excellent job as we felt that we weren't left out of the burden that was being shared throughout the conference. By the way, the subject of the conference was "Being a University Student in Truth, Life, Church and Gospel."

Along with attending the conference, we were allotted one hour to share concerning the campus work in London this past semester. It was so good to be able to overflow from our experiences of the Lord blessing us this past week and pass on the burden to the Polish students. Here's a highlight of some of our sharing: (1) A history of the student work in London (students rising up to take care of the campus work), (2) relying on the members of the Body in the matter of our burdens, (3) a personal experience of picking up a burden for contacts, (4) praying before every event, activity, or work, (5) coming together to pray and coordinate with one another to receive the Lord's blessing and (6) realizing that we are not merely tools, but vessels in God's economy and that our primary function is to be filled with Christ as life and that all our work is simply an overflow of this life.

So, there were 24 total student attendees this weekend (18 Polish and 6 UK). What I was most impressed was that these students were ready to pick up the burden right away. All they really needed was a gentle nudge that, yes, they can pick up the burden for their own campuses. Many of them were church kids who have been stored up with a rich deposit of truth and life. The few that were recently saved are burning for the Lord and have already had some experiences of bringing others to Christ. I was also impressed how eager the serving ones were longing to pass the driver's seat to the students in the matters of the campus work. We are witnessing a strong beginning amongst the university students in Poland!

Okay, so that was a brief recap of the trip, and for the other parts of the trip, I'll let the pictures tell the story. Enjoy:

Part of our 4-hour trek through Poland. Underground station.


The following day, we took a beautiful hike through the woods in Warsaw.

Hard to find such beauty in the busy streets of London.

Polish students coordinating our post-conference Warsaw tour. How cherishing!

The UK 6. Left to right: Raymond, myself, Tim, Aurora, Ela, Kennedy.

Old Town, Warsaw trip. Walking along the wall.

There's no such thing as a tour without a group picture! Blocking half of the archway so that we can preserve the sweet memories with the Polish students!

Another picture along the wall.

The cherry on top of the conference. Stopped at a chocolate shop in Old Town, Warsaw.
See more pictures on facebook!

1 comment:

  1. Joseph, I saw this today due to a Google+ post by Katherine in TX. Even though I am months behind you, it was a good read.