We began our day with scripture exposition by Richard Chin, a Malaysian-born Chinese Australian who is the National Director of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students. This was followed by a 10-minute reflection with our connect groups, where we discussed application questions on the Character of God, Humanity’s Purpose and the Blessing of Creation.
Today we also had our first Leadership Panel featuring Kristina Alikhanyan (Lausanne Catalyst for Tentmaking and Postdoctoral Fellow at the DKFZ German Cancer Research Center), Ole-Magnus Olafsrud (Senior Coordinator for YLG2016) and Mutua Mahiaini (International President of the Navigators). If you look at their titles, you would be intimidated but I truly appreciated their transparency on the realities and challenges of leadership.
Kristina shared that it came to a point that she was so busy with work that her husband had to beg her for a date with him. Her wake-up call came when her friends pulled her aside and told her point blank that she was becoming too busy. Here are some of the quotes I took down:
Are you gonna be a name? A Christian big shot or a message?
Lead for your testimony, not for your title.
It’s not about THE FAME but THE IMPACT.
PRAYER SAVES TIME. (Kristina Alikhanyan)
This is also the first day of our workshops. I absolutely enjoyed the Media Engagement workshop where I got to connect with the other participants who worked in media. We exchanged ideas, assessed the current state of global culture, how we can make use of media to equip the church and individuals and communicate Biblical world views.
We capped off the day with an evening plenary session featuring Marina Silva, a Christian politician from Brazil who has received wide recognition for her work on the Amazon rainforest and sustainable development. Speaking with a translator, Marina stressed that worshiping God means we do our part in preserving and caring for his creation.
Also joining us via a recorded video message was Michael Panther who wanted so much to join us but had challenges with his papers. Michael fell ill at 13 years old. A missionary doctor was able to correctly diagnose his illness as tuberculosis of the spine. Surgery has thankfully saved his life but he is now in a wheelchair. Undeterred by his physical limitation, Michael was able to finish schooling and graduated with an Economics degree from Louisiana State University.