What did people say following the conference? Feedback is essential to see where we excelled, where we dropped the ball, and how we might better plan for the next conference.
One student organizer said, “I had lots of doubts because of tension and our ability to manage 400 students. It was a privilege to help organize this conference.”
Missionary nurse June Johnson has lived and worked in Ukraine for years. She said, “Because this conference had too much going against it – different cultures, so many out-of-country guests, more than 300 out-of-town guests, physical distance separating the schools, leadership team and even conference site, a logistics nightmare, insufficient experience not to mention insufficient funds in hand — it should not have taken place, but it did. The conference did take place because God wanted it to. It was done well because the organizing committee was ready to work hard and be obedient. Thank you for keeping the vision God gave you.”
There were approximately 15 Muslim students present at the conference. Many of the speakers commented that these students found it safe to ask questions about how Christianity is different from Islam. One Muslim student from Odessa said, “No matter what, whether it is Christian or not, I want to know when the next conference is taking place.”
Another speaker said, “The caliber and breadth of speakers and organizations in Ternopil was outstanding. It seemed to me that through diverse speakers and subjects, the Lord gave a clear and unifying message of integrating faith in Jesus with the way that medicine is practiced and how patients are treated.”
“We learned how to serve and benefit others. Our very essence is that our medical service and spiritual service are one,” was a comment made by a member of the Ternopil organizing committee.
Anita Verhoeven from the Netherlands who works with PRIME said, “The students of my three master classes were very serious and keen to learn. It was a surprise for me to see such a large group of African students. It was a real joy to join them with their songs of praise in an African way. It made me to know we all belong to the body of Christ worldwide.”
A nursing student said, “I learned a lot. We never have had training on colostomy care. It is just not taught. I saw a Muslim and a Buddhist listening with keen interest.”
“It is hard to put into words all that I witnessed in these several days. As much as the students wanted to learn, the speakers were open and accessible to a degree rarely seen. It was good to see senior medical professionals openly discuss the reality of their faith as it relates to their profession, honestly discussing their successes, failures and doubts. Finally, the source of their hope was clearly proclaimed.”
Finally, the students at the debriefing of the local organizing committee were asked, “What one thing did God teach you during this conference?”
“Bypass the problem, look to him, God.”
“We learned to go beyond the committee to help one another.”
“When you are sent to be a blessing, you must be sacrificial and must leave your comfort zone.”