“Christ died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again…if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

 2 Corinthians 5:15,17

Hundreds of university students will gather at the ALL IN Conferences in Waikanae and Queenstown this July to explore worth and identity and why these can only be truly found in the one who created them. Josephine, a student from Auckland, followed her friends to the Student Life conference with no idea that she would come out a completely different person.

Josephine was invited by two friends to go to the Student Life Conference. She decided to tag along, just to see what the conference was about. Josephine knew nothing about Christianity, she figured  she could check out this event that her friends were going to and see how she felt about Christianity by the end of it. What Josephine didn’t expect was for God to challenge her in a number of ways. Everything from how  she was living her life, to her attitude, her perceptions on society and the people around her – it all had to change. She went to conference being open-minded to learn more about Christianity, but God made her realise what she was missing in her life.

Josephine used to try to hide and cover  her weaknesses, looking for an escape from reality through obsessive video games and procrastination. During this time, she somehow knew that  she was living an empty life and this knowledge made her feel depressed. She would question the purpose of her existence, constantly reminding herself of her weaknesses, these constant reminders isolated  her more and more from the outside world. She was beginning to feel trapped under her own skin.

But at conference she was told that  her existence mattered; that God made her for a purpose! She learned that God loved her unconditionally. The story of Jesus and the reason for his death shocked her. It made  her speechless and she couldn’t help but thank God for the love He showed us on the cross. He forgave her wrongs, her sin, and brought her into a new reality where she is no longer trapped in  her own skin but free to enjoy a relationship with Him and give thanks for even the simplest of things.

Since conference,  Josephine has felt spiritually energised and she has a continual urge to spread positivity wherever she goes. While she’s far from being an extrovert and occasionally socially awkward, she’s slowly trying to build up  her self-esteem and confidence. This has really surprised her when she considers where she was like before she went to the conference.

The realization of the fact that God loves unconditionally has also motivated her to try influence others and share the good news of Jesus with people. Josephine recently went sharing on campus and she was so pumped after! In all of this, she can’t help but be in awe of God and she is so glad that she has finally found who she  is in Christ.

It’s so exciting to hear how God is continuing to bring more people into His kingdom. As Peter Somerville wrote in his conference reflections “…if you are a follower of Jesus, you know that nothing is more thrilling and more exhilarating than seeing people come to faith.”

From questioning her purpose to sharing the good news of Jesus with others – praise God for moving Josephine from hopeless death to eternal life!

If you know of a student who you think would benefit from attending a conference, here is the link and dates to register for one of these conferences.

Interested in learning more about Student Life, or perhaps you’d like to join the movement? Find out more here.

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