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Conference – Wilberforce Academy

November 2016

In September, more than 100 delegates gathered at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, to confer on speaking of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord in the public square. The Wilberforce Academy is hosted by Christian Concern.

One of the attendees was Immamuel Opara, 31, a fitness instructor and pro-life activist. In 2015, he went to the Academy for the first time and in 2016 came as part of the members’ programme.

Mr Opara said: ‘The Wilberforce Academy 2016 may have now finished, but the real work has only just begun. I can honestly say that last year’s Academy had a massive impact upon me, and led to major life changes, including moving to a different city and starting a new job.

‘After the Academy I felt encouraged to go forward in the direction that I could see God taking me in, creating opportunities for me to learn more about how he could use me in representing his kingdom in this nation.’

‘This year we were blessed to have some great speakers from around the world, who taught on subjects such as biblical law, and how we can relate it to a progressively pagan worldview. There were some great talks, which broke down the concept of culture, and showed us how to effectively interact with culture in our nation.

‘We also heard inspiring stories of faith, and how those who have gone before us have taken a stand to represent the Lord in the public eye. During each day, we would break out into application groups, where we could recap what had been taught in that day’s sessions, while discussing what the implications were for us on a personal level…

‘Many had come from outside the UK, and we met delegates from such nations as Canada, South Korea, South Africa, Italy, Ireland, Ukraine and Slovakia. With so many different nationalities represented, we were reminded of just how far across the globe the body of Christ reaches, as well as how widespread our fight is as Christians in the modern age.

‘Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP spoke at the banquet on the final night, and I was encouraged and challenged by his exhortation that, in terms of the public square: “One man, plus God is a majority”. His second challenge to us was the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14. This reads: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”.’

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