The FEUER Conference 2018

Otazka

1st November: Coma Ruga. A larger coastal village that was about to be the centre of the events for our four-person expedition over the following 4 days and nights. When we got off the shuttle train from Barcelona airport, we met our Belgian friends who were also heading to the FEUER conference and I had met this summer at Formación in Poland.

The core of the conference is usually the training of university Bible study leaders with a focus on preparing an evangelistic talk. The more than 150 participants were divided into groups of six or seven and the aim of the following days was to showcase the talk on his or her own within the small group. The topic had to be connected to some part of Mark’s gospel. Afterwards, a “simulation” was run, as the group members got into the students’ shoes and asked questions. The last part was feedback and a discussion highlighting the positives and pointing out the gaps that needed to be filled. Beatka and Baška took part in the Seekers Bible Study workshop.

 

Team 

A lot of attention was paid to the questions and answers part and it was the main topic of many workshops. Personally, I gained the most there, as this was my first contact with answering important and deep questions that follow from reading a biblical text. Many times, we have the tendency to be dominant in asking, which is not wrong, but it is important to leave space for students’ curiosity. Each and every question coming from a student in this age of passivity and anonymity is a treasure. It was also good to remind ourselves that while answering, the aim is not to persuade with enough arguments, but to show God’s character.

“The aim is not to persuade people with our answer. The most important is to show love, interest and God’s character.” - Christian Hofreiter

The guests were, for example, Dick and Rose Dowsett, who shared with us their moving testimony one evening. It was just like reading a Christian book with some practical advice, but seeing it all in front of you.

“These days, everybody is quite individualistic. But we need to realize one thing: we can’t make it alone, we can with the Lord only.”- Dickson Dowsett

“I make mistakes. That’s why I want to keep learning.” -
Rose Dowsett

 

Other guests were Stefan Gustavsson, Andrew Fellows, Andy Wickham, Edvin Puka, Pablo Martinez, Vaughan Roberts, David Robertson, Mattias Clausen and also John Lennox and Samuel Escobar, whose experience with student evangelization were very for me personally very encouraging (actually, they were so engaging that I didn’t take any notes). The worship guest was Andy Mayo, the Spanish GBU took care of us and the organization was covered by the amazing Lindsay and Ann Brown. Lindsay reminded us of the important evangelization fact. It is not about speed, not even about effectivity. Essential is to sow the good news, and always sow in line with the Bible. God is the one who gives the growth, not us. (1 Cor 3:7).

 “I know you are a mess, but I want you to be my messenger and to use your life as a message.”

 

- a part of an improvised student song

I could have written a lot about this expedition. About the experience in the groups, about mission weeks, about conversations, about the walks with the Lord by the sea, about topics from Mark’s gospel, about ideas for evangelism, about suggestions for books and writers, about prayers… I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be at FEUER with our Slovak group. We had some fun times, we had some seriously-useful-talk time. Although I didn’t see any part of Barcelona except the airport, I am thankful. J It was worth it.

Samuel Spišák