Growing Spiritually, In Lockdown and Beyond

by EU Graduates Fund

From August 2-5th, in the final week of the break, over 500 students participated in AnCon: Refresh – Growing spiritually in lockdown and beyond. The AnCon team faced the task of changing an in-person conference that been planned for many months to an online conference, all in a matter of weeks and amidst Sydney’s intense lockdown.

Despite this challenging situation, AnCon21 was an overwhelmingly positive experience for those who attended. The week was filled with prayer meetings, conversations with LRLR workers, Bible teaching from Rowan, Zoom socials, and sharing reflections in small groups.

At a time when so much of our normal lives are restricted, the week was a timely reminder that regardless of our circumstances, we can always keep getting to know Jesus better and growing in our love for him. We also rejoice that during AnCon at least two people came to faith, and at least one recommitted their life to Christ.

Below are some encouraging reflections shared by students who attended.

What was your favourite part of AnCon21?

Emily, final year BMusic: Praying with people.

Jerry, third year BCom/LLB: The main sessions!

Science student: I loved the talks and felt very motivated to use lockdown as a time to grow in spiritual maturity.

Anonymous: Morning prayer was exceptional! Very well prepared and structured. Plenty of time to hear from LRLR workers and to pray for them and the EU. Was a great community vibe and definitely something the EU should do more of.

Anonymous: Being REFRESHED when lockdown has been so monotonous. I really needed to be revitalised in my faith and relationship with God so thank you.

What is something you learnt or were challenged to put in practice after AnCon?

Emily: To reconsider my priorities.

Jerry: That the word of God is not just an ancient text that we should feel obliged to read as part of a regime of daily devotions but it is how God – creator of all things, our Father in heaven – speaks directly into our lives and shapes us into Christlikeness with ever increasing glory! Remembering this has really helped with making time for God throughout my week.

Science student: I was challenged to change up my prayer life and to be more creative with it.

What encouraged you at AnCon this year?

Jerry: The fruitful discussions in prayer and reflection groups were particularly encouraging and thought provoking.

Anonymous: A girl we hadn’t seen before at the con was invited by her friend. She was a bit unsure at first but as she warmed into things she became a real encouragement and joy and awesome bold sharer within the group. She’s signed up for a small group for sem 2 and we’re excited to see how she continues to grow throughout the rest of her time in the CCG.

Anonymous: Perhaps reflecting on the last 5 years that I was at uni – as this is going to be my last semester at uni, but my first at AnCon, it was amazing to think of where I was when uni first started. In first year, I was not a Christian and living very far from God. In fact, on the walk to classes I would actively avoid the green shirts for my life! But during uni I became a believer, and now I’ve even been to my first AnCon! God is truly good. It is amazing to think what work God has done in me which I hope is encouraging for other people to hear :)

Emily: AnCon21: In The Flesh changed to AnCon21: Refresh in the matter of 2-3 weeks. I was so encouraged by how everyone on and off AnCon and Staff team came together to put together a whole new conference, motivated by God’s Glory. On top of this, it is beyond encouraging to witness how God used our human work to make an incredible conference that brought people into relationship, or into deeper relationship with Him. To Him be the Glory!

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