What an amazing week it was in November 2017, when over 500 fellow brothers and sisters in the global SU family, met together in Putrajaya, Malaysia, just outside Kuala Lumpur. This would be my first (and hopefully not my last :D) overseas trip. I was excited at the prospect of meeting with people from other countries but didn’t quite realise what an enriching and edifying experience it would be. More than 150 countries were represented, and the very large conference room adorned with hundreds of beautiful flags bore testament to the far-reaching work of SU.
Working in one’s own little corner of the world, one tends to forget that there are other people in the movement with their shoulders to the wheel doing amazing work for the Lord. I met people from countries where doing Christian work is actually dangerous for their lives, and so they are, for all intents and purposes, ‘underground’. This was an eye opener for someone like me from South Africa, where we are still free to live as Christians and share the gospel with others.
One of the activities we did involved each country (or territory) hosting a table, with materials that they shared and also posters that highlighted the different ways that they use to reach young people with the gospel. There were countries with only a few key activities, while there were some with a bewildering array of offerings. Australia comes to mind: they have river rafting camps, rock climbing camps, sheep shearing camps, hiking camps, anything-you-can-think-of camps. Yes, you read that right, sheep shearing camps. SU Madagascar also have a ministry to young unwed mothers or mothers-to-be, helping them to understand their changing roles, but above all, to share the love of God with them through the gospel.
It was also really interesting to be part of the commissioning of the new SU International Director Monika Kuschmierz, the new Chair of the Board, Christian Hellwig and the new board.
I am really grateful to have been a part of the delegation that was sent from South Africa. We made memories that will never be forgotten. The food in Malaysia was delicious and different from what we are used to. The conversations over meals with people from different countries were even better!
SU National Office