Relocated conference session stirs tension
Disorganization causes long lines for the global awareness session. | Marika Adamopoulos/THE CHIMES
Several students expressed frustration through complaints and comments on Yik Yak about being unable to receive conference credit for the global awareness session due to relocation and disorganization.
“I think maybe if they were able to file students in and out, I don't want to say necessarily faster...but there's this huge line and I wasn't able to go to it today,” said Ethan Soo Hoo, sophomore business marketing major.
Several students waited in line for an hour or more, only to be turned away. The SMU staff started telling attendees to leave at about 6:00 p.m., a half hour before the session was scheduled to close.
Despite not being able to receive the one credit for the global awareness session, students enjoyed the two main sessions and seminars, as well as hearing the Seattle band Kings Kaleidoscope lead worship.
Beginning the Day
Kings Kaleidoscope led the main sessions by leading with several familiar worship songs and their originals, “Defender” and “Felix Culpa.” While some students had never heard of the band prior to Missions Conference, for others it is the best part of the conference so far.
At the beginning of the morning session on Wednesday, 91 students ran flags to represent nations across the world. Afterward, Mark Cahill, author of “One Thing You Can’t do in Heaven,” was the guest speaker. Cahill used his stories and experiences to encourage Christian college students to get out of their Christian bubbles and be bold in their faith until eternity returns. He wants students to use what they learn in these conferences throughout their lives.
“The significance of the conference isn't really the conference. The significance is three months from now, six months from now, 10 years from now, are they still doing what the Bible said to do,” Cahill said.
The second session’s guest speaker was Ajai Lall, founder director of Central India Christian Mission and Christian Medical Training Center. Lall expressed the need for Christian college students to be aware of the troubles in India as well as the world and to know how to respond to them.
“Once we know what is happening in this world, then we can respond and it's just, you know, that Jesus is the answer and all these things that are happening and the rules are changing, the doors are being opened, and the challenges that we have and all that,” Lall said.
Grant Garcia, freshman engineering physics major, explained how the sessions inspired students to recognize the strength of the gospel in their own lives, and letting that love for God fuel missions.
“It brought a new light on the concept of preaching the gospel, not just out of a guilt trip but out of a love and delight in God. Our ‘speaking up’ doesn't come out like we feel like we have to, but we speak up because we just love God so much. And that love for God translates into wanting to tell others,” Garcia said.
Between sessions, students enjoyed foreign flavors including food from India, in conjunction with the India Project. They also got the chance to pay $3 to take a picture with camels or $8 to ride them. All proceeds will be going towards the India Project.
The International House of Drinks provided refreshments in the afternoon from Greece and Thailand. Students also got the opportunity to meet the Student Missionary Union summer mission teams, as well as missionaries from around the world at the ice cream social and missionary fair.