IFES European Student Evangelism Conference: Presence 2017
2000 students. 47 countries. 1 mission: to encourage and equip students who are eager to share the good news of Jesus.
Over the Easter weekend Michael Ramsden travelled to Germany to speak at the IFES European Student Evangelism Conference in Aschaffenburg. During the morning sessions Michael spoke from Jonah to students from across Europe exploring how we are so often blinded by our victim driven mentality that we miss out on God’s sovereign plans for our lives. As he spoke, his words were simultaneously translated into 26 other languages by a team of volunteers.
Alongside Michael, Mari Ovsepyan from the Zacharias Trust team shared her thoughts in the seminar stream on ‘The Power of our Storytelling’ to 45 students. When asked about the highlight of the conference Mari said, ‘It was amazing to see students being encouraged to tell their own stories and the impact they can have. Jesus often used storytelling as a way of communicating to people and we can do the same.’
She added, ‘The other highlight for me was to be part of conversations with students who said, ‘The way that you and Michael talk about God is as though He is here in the room with us!’ It was amazing to see this truth revealed to these young people! God was moving powerfully as some of them met Jesus for the first time and others grew in their relationship with Him.’
Throughout the event students were coming to an awareness that a real relationship with God is possible through Jesus; He isn’t an abstract concept but a loving Father who is deeply interested in them and their lives.
Tor Erling Fagermoen, Regional Secretary for IFES, shared some of his vision at the event too. He said, ‘We long to inspire and equip these students to be able to share their faith alongside practicing the presence of God in day-to-day life. We need to be present in the lives of our friends who don’t yet know Jesus.’
Michael and Mari both returned excited at all that God had done during the conference. The students left having been encouraged to embrace their callings to be sharing the good news of Jesus with their friends and colleagues across the continent. Michael plans on developing his message from Jonah and how it is applicable to us in the days we are living in.