Seminars and workshops helpful, encouraging
By Kymberli Becker, a junior from Heritage Bible Church, Bakersfield, Calif.
Editor’s note: Congregations were invited to select one student to serve as a CL student reporter for SA2011. Thanks to the 11 youth leaders who recruited student writers and to these students for their honest and inspiring reflections.
Going to the National Mennonite Brethren Youth Conference in San Antonio was an amazing experience for me. I had never been to a conference like this before. There was much consideration on whether or not I should go to the conference before I finally decided to go. I didn’t know what to expect so I was hesitant to go. But with some reassurance from family and friends I made the best choice I had. While at the conference we got the opportunity to attend a workshop and a seminar of our choosing. There were many to choose from and all were interesting topics.
The workshop I decided to go to was titled “Race Relations.” This workshop talked about how there are racial barriers in the church. One speaker (Chris Eidse) was telling us how he experienced racial barriers in the church. He used to live in Canada but felt called by God to move to the states in an African-American community and work in a church. It took time to gain the trust of the people but it slowly came. One barrier he stumbled upon was when he was in a church meeting and an African-American woman said that she didn’t want a white man teaching her children about God, and he was the only white man there. Eventually the issue was settled and now they are good friends. But that is just one of the many issues of racial barriers in the church.
It is surprising to me how there are so many racial barriers in the church. The church should be the first to try and eliminate racial barriers, but yet we are the last. Only 5.5 percent of churches in the United States are multi-cultural. The speaker was telling us that it is pretty much up to our generation to try and solve this problem. We need to take action and start integrating into other churches, not just stay in our own races.
The seminar I went to was called “Good, Bad or Scared.” This seminar was about dating and relationships. The speaker was telling us how to have a healthy relationship and what signs to look for when one isn’t. I really enjoyed going to this seminar because I am at the age where I am going to want to start looking for a relationship soon. It was good for me to hear about things to look for and that a relationship isn’t just about the physical stuff. To help us, the speaker gave us an acronym, P.L.A.A.N, Protect with respect, Listen, Ask questions, Act, and Notify.
Overall I can honestly say that going on the San Antonio Youth Conference trip was a great choice. It challenged me spiritually and helped me get closer to God. I really felt called by God to eventually do some short-term missionary work. This conference definitely sparked a fire in my heart to keep striving towards God and continue to get closer to him. Next time there will be no hesitation when deciding to go on a trip and life-changing experience as this.
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