July 16, 2001

Suppose we had an event where we gathered students from east and west in Europe…

Suppose they could be imparted with a vision of Europe’s future in which believers played proactive and vital roles in politics, journalism, business, law and public life…

Suppose they could realise they didn’t have to become pastors or missionaries to be agents for God’s Kingdom, but that we are all called to make a difference in Europe…

Suppose they could be introduced to Christian ‘mentors’ already working in these fields, developing lasting friendships with them to receive guidance and encouragement as they seek God’s will in their future careers…

Suppose they could also be exposed to ‘mentors’ from the past, believers whose faith helped them shape Europe’s history – like William Wilberforce, Elizabeth Fry, Robert Schuman, Jan Amos Comenius, Abraham Kuyper…

Suppose they could meet Christians working in the European Union institutions in Brussels, like the European Parliament and the European Commission, and to hear about opportunities to be ‘salt and light’ and to influence legislation…

…then wouldn’t you want to encourage students you know to attend?

Actually, there is such an event. It’s the New Europe Student Forum, held annually in Brussels early in September.

Jan Piet de Visser, YWAM’s leader in Brussels, caught the vision for this event when he realised the strategic importance of challenging students to be Kingdom agents in their chosen careers. He saw that while the New Europe Forum (see Weekly Word, 11.06.01) was addressing those already engaged in areas of politics and society, something was needed for students who were still looking for their place and career.

Three years ago, Sir Fred and Lady Elizabeth Catherwood were house parents at the first NESForum. Sir Fred is a former vice-chairman of the European Parliament, and enthused the students with his passion for applying God’s Word to the world of politics.

Two years ago, a civil servant named Paul van Buitenen told how his four-year-old Christian faith had prompted him to expose corruption in the European Commission leading to its dramatic wholesale resignation – a classic example of one person making a difference, even in the bureacratic maze of the EU.

Last year, David Porter told the students of the role a small group of committed Christians in the reconciliation talks in Northern Ireland, and the price sometimes involved for those wanting to see God’s shalom made visible on our here-and-now worlds.

This year, young dynamic speaker and writer, Matt Bird, will engage with the student participants on making a difference in a post-modern world.

Dates are: Sept 5-9, 2001. Costs: 135 euros. Some subsidies are usually available for eastern Europeans.

You can read more about the NESForum on the web at: Some of the presentations from former events are available to download. You can also register via the website.

Why not forward this w e e k l y w o r d to all the students you know who could benefit from attending the NESForum?

Till next week,

Jeff Fountain.

Till next week,

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