Joining Student Life earlier this year after after hearing the group mentioned by a few friends, I was anxious not knowing what God would teach me and the people He would bring into my life. Even though I was extremely resistent to join, I know that I have felt God’s love and peace in my Christian walk and I know that He is real, yet something in me was just telling me that God is not real. A voice kept chattering away: ‘Why would God allow you to go through so much pain if He could stop it in an instance?’
For the first few weeks of uni, I attended weekly meeting and core group. It was a place where I knew that I wasn’t judged for doubting God, a place where I knew I was safe and loved.
It came time to come face to face at Connexions Conference. One of the things I loved about Connexions was that I was able to see how God is working in other campuses around New South Wales. It was meeting new people that allowed me to see God’s love pouring over them and the passion they have for Christ.
The speaker at Connexions, Erik York, first discussed how to come face-to-face with Jesus and getting to know who He is more personally. This really opened my eyes. Even though I knew what God did for me by dying on the cross, I didn’t know Him personally. I never had that deep relationship that I desired.
The bonfire that night was filled with community. It was a time of worship that was filled with so much encouragement. Later that night, Tom, Matt and I took our cameras to capture God’s glory and creation. It continues to remind me that God created all of this for us and that He is so much bigger then I think He is.
The second day of camp was the day which really challenged my faith and who I consider myself to be. It was the one day which really impacted me spiritually and emotionally. Erik talked about how we need to become face-to-face with others and through that, I’ve realised that I have hurt certain people around me – especially sisters in Christ – who I know care and love me, yet I have hidden my struggles from them. It just helped me to really understand that it’s okay to ask for help.
When we split into our training group, I was really confused and angry in regards to why I was put into Exploring Christianity. I became quite arrogant. “I know that all this. I know that God created the world; I know that He died on the cross and I know that He rose from the dead, yeah. I know all this.” God had a plan and gosh did He follow through with it.
My training group, lead by Macquarie Uni missionaries Gaz and Blake, went through a small booklet – Knowing God Personally. This basically goes through four key concepts. When we got up to the section about sin, God opened and softened my heart. He taught me that I needed to stop holding onto the hurt for the past 15 years of my life and to start to look at how my own sins have hurt God. I needed to understand how my actions have hurt my creator and yet, He loves me so much that when He looks at me, He sees me as a perfect daughter in Christ. Only through Grace am I able to be called a daughter of God. When I realised this, I nearly broke down into tears, knowing that God loves a sinner like me.
During capture-the-flag on the first night; Student Life Broadway (ft. other universities) vs. Student Life Macquarie and on opposing teams, I was able to witness prayer during the middle of the game. It continues to reveal how God is working in the lives of others.
Just before worship night started, I told Elsie about things that were going on in my life and how I didn’t feel worthy of God’s love and when she prayed for me, she asked God to pour His love over me and I physically felt God’s love. It was truly an affirmation of the power of prayer.
Personally, I love worship. I think it’s a time where we can really spend our time with God through song and prayer. To the worship team, I really want to thank you for providing music throughout the conference. I had quite an interesting conversation with Elsie that night and talked about spiritual warfare and how powerful it is.
Camp went so quickly! On the last day, Erik talked about how we need to become face-to-face with mission. This talk really helped me personally as there were people who I wanted to share God with but wasn’t sure how.
During campus time, Student Life Broadway came together to share what we’ve learnt over the weekend and what’s coming up in the next few months. Coming back for the last time as one community there were a few people who talked about up-coming Student Life events such as going overseas and SummerSalt but before that, there’s Mid Year Conference in July!
I am praying that God continues to work in campuses, not only around NSW or even Australia but around the world. I am praying for everyone who attended Connexions that each and every one of you continues to grow in your faith and that you persevere.
I miss you guys already but it’s only three months until MYC!
“What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God” – Psalm 55:14
Your Sister in Christ,
[Photo: Nicholas Varady-Szabo and Emma Horn]