A journey in itself
Earlier this year, because of the pandemic, it was becoming evident to us as a ministry that we would have to reconsider having the annual Student Conference. It was either going to be shifted online or cancelled altogether. The thought of that was a bit disheartening because initially, Voyagers Conference was planned to be a huge event bringing together university students from across the Pacific region. The ministry had already booked out the entire Pearl Resort for the weeklong event.
Conference was coming up in a matter of days and there were still so many things to be done. The constant delays and periods of
radio email silence were taking its toll on me. Anxiety slowly started to creep in. At one point, I began to think, ‘you know what… maybe it’s not too late to cancel this whole programme’. Thankfully, we didn’t cancel. Things finally started to come together a couple of days out from student conference. My heart though, was far from being at peace. The night of the conference opening a technical mishap meant that everything had to be delayed by an hour. More stress. But this was out of my hands now. There was nothing really, I could do… but pray.
Things finally got underway with the programme and by the grace of God, it just flowed. We had around 80 people tuning in on that first night. Our National Director, Koli Ravoka spoke from Daniel and focused on a passage from chapter 11; “but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”. 1
Discussions were then facilitated on Discord, an online social platform that was originally created for gamers.
At the debrief that night, with two other team members, we logged into the call and spent a good couple of minutes just laughing (I don’t know if that’s just an Islander thing or if it’s universal) before even speaking a word. It was a laughter of amazement, of relief and admittedly, one of embarrassment. God has always been in control. Orchestrating everything for His own glory. What a timely reminder.
From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.Psalm 90:2
Highlights and outcomes of the Conference
A Q&A hosted by a staff member [Joey]. During the session he fielded questions that had been voted on by students to a panel of esteemed Cru staff. The questions ranged from faith, “can I lose my salvation?” to relationships, “how do I know she’s the one?” to social topics like, “how to I respond to a friend that is telling me that they are attracted to the same sex?”
Reaching your world
Staff gave a brief overview of the state of the digital landscape in Fiji and shared about opportunities for digital outreach. They introduced MissionHub, a free app that builds communities and encourages people to take steps of faith in their everyday lives.2 Plus, how to use tools such as short films as aids to gospel presentation.3
We had a lot of testimonies of students that were encouraged through the conference, especially given the circumstances. One student wrote,
“The conference was such a refreshing experience. I was so blessed by the speakers and grateful to have made new friends on Discord. Overall, my relationship with God has developed and I’m just grateful.”Luke, a final year civil engineering student.
Since the conference, our Discord server has remained busy. Students are excited about plans to have more Cuppa-Joes and FamilyLife (our family ministry) has indicated that they would also like to run their own digital conference later this year.
Most of all we want to build on the momentum that we’ve generated from Student Conference. To do that we’ve began working on a Student Persona. More on that soon.
Download the Conference Booklet designed by Tuma.
- Watch day one of the conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmQ2lM05AQQ&t=1136s
- Download MissionHub at missionhub.com
- Find out more about digital outreach on indigitous.org