I recently realised I never wrote about this year’s EPIC conference in Cambodia! So I shall rectify that now – even if it’s a few months overdue ;)
As always, my biggest job was leading worship for the conference. This year I had a team of 7 very enthusiastic and very skilled young men to lead (plus a sweet girl giving me some extra help on vocals for most of the conference). I had a great time with them. I was very impressed with their skills, and their good hearts. Our practises were raucous and joyful and thoroughly wonderful. I had a bit of a cold and lost most of my voice by the last day of the conference which was interesting for singing!!
In addition to leading worship and general conference stuff, I also led one of the small groups. This year’s conference relied heavily on a small number of quality small group leaders; the small group times were a BIG part of the experience for the students. I had a group of grade 12 boys, many of whom I’d known for 4+ years, and one lovely girl from Fiji (who was visiting for a few weeks that overlapped with the conference time). We had a great time together, with interesting conversations and some laidback silliness I think all teens need in their lives.
As always, we finished the conference with a time of reflection, as students answered three questions: what they enjoyed, what they learned, and what was special. Here is a selection from their responses:
- “I enjoyed the candle late night worship and the presence of God there.”
- “I enjoyed hearing stories from our smart small group leader.”
- “I enjoyed small groups and bonding with people.”
- “I enjoyed meeting new people/friends and having deep conversations.”
- “I learned that being a Christian isn’t about being a moral person but actually having faith in God.”
- “I learned that God is bigger than my failures and will use my life no matter what.”
- “I learned there is no mistake that God can’t repair.”
- “I learned that choices are important – every choice we make helps make us the people we are today.”
- “I learned that life is all about choices and your choices will affect your future. I need to think through my choices before I make them.”
- “I learned that what we put or place in our hearts will come out in our actions.”
- “Being with other people who understand what it means to be a TCK was special.”
- “Meeting new people, making new friends and listening to the talks was special.”
- “Worship night with the candles was special.”
- “The music was unbelievable.”
You can read more from students who attended the conference on the EPIC website testimonies page.
After the conference, Christina and I took a few days away, going to the White Elephant resort outside the city for some R&R. It was a lovely time of relaxing, reading, swimming, and hanging out together. There’s a good chance we won’t see each other again before Christina moves to the US in June, so it was really nice to have that time together after the busyness of conference was over.