The SMS said "Coming to the challenge conference? You can get the big kids looked after by grandparents and take Finn". And so, not being able to think up a decent excuse, we registered to attend. (In true Tasmanian fashion the registration was not sent off until the Monday before the conference, resulting in us getting a room filled with bunk beds, though doubled up mattresses on the floor proved quite cosy.)

We set off in fear and trepidation, afraid that we would be head hunted to become full time paid ministers of the word. That's what the conference is all about right? Well, as it turned out, it was not like that at all. After dropping off the kids and all that jazz, we arrived on Friday, just in time for David Jones' talk which set the tone for the rest of the weekend... Six sermons, an interview and a forum in the space of two days kept us on our toes.

We were definitely challenged, particularly by the messages on devoting your whole life to Christ, whether you are in paid service or not. God wants a complete sacrifice, not half a bull with the other half duct taped together and put back in the paddock! We were challenged by a man with the most fantastic accent to glorify God in and through all our work, no matter how menial the task. Not just our 9 to 5 work but in all we do. Hey, even Adam and Eve had to work before the fall into sin. And so the challenges continued, get rid of sin, get rid of temptation, love your neighbour, suffering for the gospel, many members but one body, getting off the cruise boat and into the life raft.

The interview was the one thing that we were most cautious about. What are they going to ask? What are they expecting? Why do they want to interview us? Will they ask us to sign up? But our fears were soon put at ease, as the couple that interviewed us were probably more nervous than what we were... Again we were challenged, not in a confronting way, but in a caring manner. These people were actually interested in what we did, they prayed for us, encouraged us and give us plenty of tips (especially on mentoring).

Meals were a highlight, particularly the much anticipated spit roast. It was great to be able to share a meal with new acquaintances and get to know them.

This conference was so much better than what we had expected. It was not aimed at a particular group of people as we first thought. The talks were awesome, inspirational, thought provoking. We left invigorated, refreshed, challenged, and humbled. I think the only way the conference could have been better was if all our friends were there to share in the experience. After all, we all need to work together to promote and spread the gospel.

Edward and Christine Borst.