by Abigail Wisniewski
The Beautiful Feet Mission Conference saw its largest turnout yet on Nov. 12-14. It brought over 300 Concordia students from across the country to the Concordia, Nebraska campus.
Beautiful Feet is a student-led mission conference that rotates between the Concordia campuses. During a weekend of speakers, praise, exhibits and service opportunities, participants explored the theme verse, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few,” from Matthew 9:37. The event also exposed attendees to mission opportunities both around the world and in their own communities.
Co-chairs for the event Malinda Standerfer and Spencer Owen began preparations after the 2014 conference in Texas. Julie Johnston Hermann, Rev. Dr. John Mehl and student leaders met anywhere from seven to fifteen times per week to plan the different aspects of the conference.
Speakers for the weekend included Mehl, the director of mission partnerships and church relations at Concordia; author and speaker Dani Tietjen; pastors Greg Bearss, Lonnie Jacobsen and Bill Steinbauer; and Matt Wasmund who works in the LCMS Office of International Missions. In addition to relaying their own experiences in the mission field, the speakers impressed upon students the importance of missions and encouraged them to spread the message of the gospel.
“I was ready to go and love people where they [are] at and accept people,” freshman Laura Sweere said. “It just gave me a new perspective on things, and I think everybody felt that at some point.”
After hearing the messages of the speakers, students broke into small groups to discuss how they could apply the different messages to the mission of spreading the gospel.
“I think one of the biggest things I got out of the weekend is that while I do have a desperate desire to go across seas, there’s people right next to me that need to hear the love of Christ,” sophomore Jan Steinbrueck said.
With nine out of the 10 Concordia campuses represented, attendees interacted and learned about the missions happening on other campuses, reflecting the goal of the conference which was to connect those involved in mission work and those interested. The conference impressed upon the participants that, though each campus has their own missions, the mission of the Concordia system as a whole is to further the kingdom of God.
“I hope they take away that the world’s a big place,” Owen said. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, and that work can be done on our own campus here in Seward, here in Nebraska. It can be done in the U.S.; it can be done around the world.”
The 2016 Beautiful Feet Conference will be held at Concordia University, Portland.