Our international students while studying at PetrSU manage to find time not only for lessons and leisure activities. The student from Sweden Erik Engberg takes the floor telling about his participation in the Christian Students’ Community Conference in Chelyabinsk.
“In the evening of the 29th of January I sat on the train from Petrozavodsk to St Petersburg, embarking on a journey that would bring me to the other side of the Ural mountains. For many of us the city of Chelyabinsk was fairly unknown until it hit the headlines in February last year, having been hit by a meteor.
Chelyabinsk also happens to be the main town for the Christian student organization Christian Students’ Community, which was holding a national conference this weekend, on the theme of “Integrity in Christ”, living and speaking in accordance with the Christian faith. The conference saw around 50 participants from Chelyabinsk, Kostroma, Nizhnij Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tomsk and me from Petrozavodsk. It was held in a former pioneer campsite by the lake Elanchik, about two hours outside Chelyabinsk.
The little I saw of Chelyabinsk looked much like the soviet industrial city it is (it could as well have been Petrozavodsk that had a leading ice hockey team called Traktor). The city center, with its rows of tanks on exhibition, tell of its war time nickname Tankograd. It was hard to tell that only a year ago, there had been few windows that weren’t broken from the shockwave produced by the meteor. My friend and host, however, pointed out the irregular pattern of new, white “euro windows” where the meteor had left its mark.
The conference was very well organised and there was a great atmosphere of friendship and community. When the participants weren’t attending seminars or bible teaching sessions, they were taking walks around the beautiful area, sledging in the nearby slope, playing games or chatting over a cup of tea. There was also plenty of time to reflect on the things said in the teaching, both privately and in groups. When the conference finished on Sunday, people left feeling inspired, although perhaps a little tired from staying up till late in the evenings!”