A few days ago all classes at my school were put on hold for our week long, annual missions conference. At BIOLA this conference is ran with great pride due to the fact that we hold the title of the world's largest student-led missions conference.
The conference is well known for:
The Parade of Nations - A session where multiple students run a lap around our gym waving the flag of a country that they represent.
Guest Speakers from around the world - This year we featured speakers from countries like India and Manila. We also had a special session to appreciate the works of Maggie Gobran also known as Mama Maggie.
Missions Fair - A fair that consist of stands ran by multiple missions organisations. It is a place for students and guest to learn more about how they can enter the missions field!
Missions Marketplace - Located right next to the fair, the Marketplace was a place for local BIOLA Mission students to raise funds for their mission trips! There were also multiple global awareness events like the IHOD, International House of Drinks.
Global Awareness - A 30 minute breakout session that informs students on global and local issues and gives them a space to reflect and respond.
Great Bands - This year we invited the amazing Kings Kaleidoscope to play at our conference. They were definitely the perfect pick for opening and closing our day with great worship.
Parade of Nations
As a global student, I am especially proud of this session. Seeing the flags of the countries I associate with fills me with so much joy. However the most heart warming part of the
parade is by far when North and South Korea ran hand in hand waving their flags. I also saw multiple of my friends waving the flags of the countries that they called home. My own older sister waved the flag of Hong Kong. It really filled me with so much happiness for them.
To be able to represent a country that you love is a feeling that is unfathomable until you actually get to experience it for yourself. I hope to be able to represent Singapore/Hong Kong/Taiwan next year!
We had a bunch of gifted brothers and sisters come share their personal testimonies, however, the most touching moment was when our school's president, President Barry Corey presented Mama Maggie the Charles W. Colson Conviction and Courage Award to thank her for her work. Mama Maggie is known for founding and managing the hugely successful non-profit charity "Stephen's Children" in Cairo, Egypt. She devoted her life to helping better the lives of the children in Egypt's trash district while effectively bringing them the word.
Missions Fair and Marketplace
The Missions fair is one of the main highlights of our conference, after all, what is faith without works? Here the newly commissioned students could explore their options for serving God in the missions field. The marketplace was a place filled with lighthearted interactions as students cheered on their friends and their visions for the work they would carry out in the respective countries that they were reaching out to. My personal favourite part of the area was the prayer request stand where anyone would go up to and either pray or write down a request.
What I liked the most about the Global Awareness Stations was its goal. What the Global Awareness displays did was raising awareness outside of the BIOLA Bubble and outside of America altogether. It showed the statistics of what was happening outside of America while the average American was going through their average day filled with first world problems.
This year BIOLA invited back "King's Kaleidoscope" a band popular among the students. The band opened and closed each day with a session of worship. On the final night of the conference, the band held a 90 minute worship session for the attendees to intercede, receive prayer and just enjoy the presence of the spirit.
Our mission conference wrapped up as a huge success! Needless to say, another year and another great conference. As a BIOLA student I couldn't be more proud of the work my school is doing for God.