Last Saturday I had the privilege to attend the first of its kind: a leadership conference for Mu Kappa, called the Mu Kappa Leadership Summit. It was held at Cedarville, and we had mk guests come from Taylor, Indiana Wesleyan, and Mount Vernon Nazarene. I was blessed by the other students, especially Britney, who stayed in my room on Friday night. She has such a sweet, caring personality and a great love for God.
We woke up early on Saturday morning and enjoyed breakfast with the other mks. Afterwards, Matt, Tiffany, and Mark led worship and then Matt shared an excellent devotional. Following that, Donna spoke about leadership and how we are called to be shepherds who care for the flock, just like Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep." -John 10:11
Spending time in fellowship together, we discussed how we can be good shepherds on our college campuses to lead and care for our flocks. Donna hung a few large blank pieces of paper with different questions and topics around the room, so we walked around in small groups and wrote ideas down on them and then gathered together to talk about them with the whole group. One of the questions was, "What is your best advice to freshman mks or internationals on how to manage life in North America?" to which people responded with a great wealth of practical, helpful advice, including, "Learn to have fun! Don't worry about being different!"
One of the most important things mks and internationals new to life in the US should be told is, "Just be yourself. Do your best to make friends with Americans and try to understand their limited view of the world. Share your world with them, bit by bit, and be patient if they lose interest after a minute or two the first few times you talk about your life. They need a 'hook' to begin to take interest in a foreign culture, and it takes time to 'catch' them, but once you have and the Americans are truly interested, you have the power to give them a much bigger perspective of life around the world. Take your time; they'll come."
The Mu Kappa Leadership Summit was a great opportunity to fellowship with mks and internationals from other Christian universities in the Midwest, and my favorite part, by far, was the last thing we did: we made a huge circle in the room, held hands, and prayed for our Mu Kappa orgs and one another. God is good!