The events that took place leading up to the ANEW Fall Conference 2011, the planning, the expected and unexpected happenings, the anticipation for the number of attendees, the novel program format and content, gave the team a sense that this conference was going to be epic in more ways than one. And it was.
For the first time, after years of claiming that I’m a part of a campus ministry movement, I can finally say that I came home from an event having witnessed a true movement. Why?
Because now, it has become evident that the students are moving. Finally, after saying it over and over again in many conferences, the attendees understand that ANEW is them. ANEW is not just the leaders and not just the conference; it’s everyone in the network. Finally, students are taking up projects and running with it. The network is finally moving.
Perhaps it was just so obvious that based on the number of projects we set out to the network and the ridiculous goals we set ourselves to do, people just knew there was no way these things will get done by 8 people. And so what did they do? They jumped on to the bandwagon.
You know you have a movement coming along when at the end of the conference, people crowd around the leaders to get involved with the different projects.
You know you have a movement, when after saying “Canvassing will change your life… getting doors slammed in your face,” you have students crowding Eunice to sign up for the summer canvassing program.
You know you have a movement, when after Juan appealed that we need to know very intimately the message that we are to carry on campus – the Three Angels Message – the 3AM Project doubled in size.
You know you have a movement, when after pretty much saying “We’re broke, but we’re not going to stop doing things,” people raised up their hands to come up with ideas, and rushed to David and Erica to join the fund raising team.
The newsletter project, high school and young professionals project, caregroup initiations … This thing is more than a full time job.
Accomplishments? That word is the least fitted word to what has happened so far with ANEW. Our work has only just begun, because the movement has only started.
It’s time for a deeper dedication. It’s time to really sacrifice and weed out unnecessary things in life. It’s time to move.