Students from different cities, on different journeys, moving together toward Jesus and toward a life well-lived.
Going into Winter Conference I expected a smaller community, so I was shocked when I saw the large turnout of students from various states. It was encouraging to see such a huge body of college students who were just as passionate about the Lord as I am.
During Winter Conference we were able to break out into different group sessions which were specified for each student and where they were in their walk with the Lord. I was placed in the disciple maker group. We went out into the city of Denver and were able to share the gospel. Through this experience I was able to create incredible community with individuals I shared with; I was able to hear how God was clearly working in their lives. Through this experience I learned how a strong community enables bold action.
I was impacted by how receptive people were in hearing the gospel, our group was a diverse group and we were able to use our differences to communicate God’s love to the people of Denver. For example, I remember a specific moment where one of the individuals we were reaching out to only spoke Spanish and it so happened that one of our group members was fluent in Spanish. God’s hand was clearly visible in our encounters in Denver.
Winter Conference was an amazing experience that further kindled my passion for the Lord, the friendships and community that I experienced will be with me for the rest of my life. Being able to connect with other believers who are my age makes sharing the love Jesus feel more like a team effort.
Before going to Winter Conference my first year, I had only been to one Weekly Gathering with Cru, but do to the peer pressure (the good kind of course) of my good friend, I decided to take the push out of my comfort zone and go. See, before this, I was in search for a group that I could be apart of on on campus that i was very new too. As someone who had grew up in the church and had been apart of many youth groups, when I heard about Cru, I thought it would be a perfect fit. On the car drive up to Denver, I was both nervous and excited as I didn’t know what to expect. I was in a car full of peers I did not know, what i did know although is that we all had the same passion for God, which offered a sense of comfort. When we got there and I seen how many college students were there, I thought to myself, “Are there really this many college kids that have a passion for Christ?” My idea of college kids, before this, was a bunch of secular parties that got into trouble. Although I felt this passion, I was not aware so many felt that too. It was a very eye opening experience. It was amazing to see so many my age studying the bible as though there was a midterm on the subject. They were so excited to learn more and experience that with their peers. They were all so friendly and personable. This really made me feel very comfortable. On the ride home much had changed in my heart as well as my view of the young adults around me. I am so thankful I got such an opportunity, especially in the midst of a crazy, reckless year.
Winter Conference has played a significant part in my walk with the Lord, I don’t know where I would be in my walk with the Lord if I didn’t go.
My first time going to Winter Conference I learned so much about God, who He is, and what it means to believe in Him. On the second day at the Conference, I felt this weight on my heart that I needed to talk with someone, so I reached out with someone on staff with Cru to talk. That night after getting back to my hotel room, I prayed to God, looked up verses about confession, and wrote myself and God a letter about everything on my heart. I knew for the first time what it meant that Jesus died for my sins, and since that moment, I believed it with my whole heart, body, and mind.
My second year attending, one of the speakers gave a talk about waiting on God especially during pain and suffering, and it felt like she was talking to me. For a long time, I have suffered from chronic migraines. This speaker helped me release that when I am struggling that I need to turn to God and pray, even when I feel like not doing so. I took notes throughout the week, but my notes from that specific session are pages that I go back to the most. Two things that I wrote down are so important to me: “Will I define God by my circumstances or define my circumstance by God?” and “We want to rush through the pain and suffering to be in the great joyous times, but He wants to reveal himself to use in those dark times.”