November 2011 - Vol. 54

A Longer View of Kairos: from Die Konferenz 
to Adelante and beyond
Betty Banks interviews Laura McAllister
In 2005, Kairos organised a conference - ďDie KonferenzĒ- with a similar vision to Adelante in the weeks leading up to the World Youth Day in Germany. Since then, Kairos has organised annual regional weekend events, summer Bible weeks, and mission trips, as well as continuing to support a network of student groups working with young adults on a day-to-day basis.

Big conferences like Adelante and Die Konferenz are exciting and inspiring but are not just flashes in the dark. God works with and in each person in the in-between times. Belfaster Laura McAllister attended Die Konferenz at the age of 17. Since then, she has been involved with UCO-Belfast, has attended all six Kairos weekends and was the very first person to sign up for Adelante, Prep 10 and WYD. I interviewed her to get a sense of her journey from  the conference in Germany to Spain, and how her experience of Adelante differed from her time in Germany in 2005. Her words resonate strongly with others in Kairos as we seek to know and boldly live out the call God has placed on our lives, both as individuals and as his international people. Some excerpts from our interview:

I decided to come to Adelante because I really felt God calling me to come, to be equipped in my faith, to grow and to see the future direction Iím going in my life. Last time I was really young, and I had only just accepted God into my life the year before. I feel that this time I have a strong faith, I have been learning who I am, and Iíve seen that God is faithful and that heís a part of my life. Iíve seen that [over the last six years]. I came to Adelante to strengthen that, to remember it and to see that God is with me now and he will be with me along my future walk. I want God to show me what my mission is, what service he wants from me, and where he wants me to be in the next stage of my life. 

I feel it was a blessing going to Prep10. The service times gave me an opportunity to give something back to this conference... I talked with people from different nationalities and cultures about their faith and about ways they do things in their country, including ways Kairos works in different contexts. It was great for me to see the international view of Kairos and to see where I fit into that now.

 Iím really excited that we have this opportunity to serve at WYD so we can be an example of an ecumenical community working together for God. We have the chance to share our faith and to learn from other people from every nation of the world.

At Prep 10 and Adelante, God spoke to me and encouraged me in stepping out in my faith and being who Iím meant to be in Christ. [Six years after Die Konferenz] I feel God calling me to step up and share with people. He has been showing me that I can be someone who speaks up, that I do have a voice and I do have something to offer.

[Laura McAllister is a member of UCO, the Kairos-affiliated university outreach in Belfast, Northern Ireland.]

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