This past weekend (Feb. 2 to 4) marked the 7th annual Faith & International Development Conference at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There were around 300 students at the conference from around the country, including 17 students from Bethel and three professors.
There were five plenary speakers: Chris Heurtz of Word Made Flesh; Twesigye Jackson Kaguri of the Nyaki AIDS Orphans Project; Kohima Daring of CRWRC International; Alain Epp a Mennonite Central Committee representative for Palestine, Jordan and Iraq; and Shane Gilbert of Come Let’s Dance. Heurtz was the devotional speaker for the conference, and the other speakers were featured in sessions throughout the weekend. Apart from that, students could go to various breakout sessions to hear from several organization representatives such as Youth with a Mission, Association for a More Just Society, Bread for the World and many others. This was an incredible opportunity for students to learn about the organizations and the work they are doing, in which they could possibly get involved with once they have graduated from college. The theme for this year’s conference was “Yearning for Justice, Learning in Love: A Dialogue of Fear and Hope.” Students heard from various individuals working around the world to help underdeveloped countries gain tools and resources to develop themselves with a little outside assistance.