Marcelo Kaique, Bachelor student of Public Policies & Management in University of São Paulo and part of Aliança Bíblica Universitária (the IFES group in Brazil).
Taking part in an exchange was always a dream for me. I would like to go abroad, know other cultures, see new places and gain new perspectives. Therefore I was very glad when the International Section in the University of Copenhagen sent me the acceptance letter to study in the Political Science Department. There was still a huge challenge , however: to earn enough money for the high living expenses for 6 months in Denmark. During all this time of preparation I could see the caring of God, sending people to help me in a crowdfunding campaign and buying my chocolate desserts. He had the control in everything! My contact with KFS came at that time. I had been involved in IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) in Brazil for about 4 years, as a local leader on my campus and supporting new Bible groups in São Paulo. The Aliança Bíblica Universitária (ABU, as we call KFS in Brazil) was a really important movement for me as a disciple of Jesus and to grow in faith and on knowledge of God. For me there was no sense in taking an exchange abroad and just "take some vacations" from the student ministry. I understand I am a witness of Him in what I do and wherever I am. Since I was supposed to be an exchange student in Denmark, I should also share about Jesus with my colleagues and get involved to the local IFES as a way to support this aim.
First steps and arrival
To find out more I checked the official website and the Facebook pages, as well as trying to contact someone personally. After a good work in stalking Facebook pages and profiles, I could get in touch with some guys from KFS. I did this before I left, so that I could join the Danish fellowship from the beginning of the semester in KU. This was a good choice! My friend, Lucas, and I attended the first meeting of KFS Copenhagen, the local "General Assembly", which probably sounds boring, but for us it was really interesting to see how KFS works and to hear about the local plans for student mission that semester. From there, I was really excited about taking part in the KFS activities and getting some tools to my personal mission in terms of evangelism. The best thing about the outline of KFS activities is that it stimulates the building of relationships, which of course also happened to me. I appreciated the way we had discussions and prays in small groups, as well as having dinner together (which is a good opportunity to invite other friends). Sometimes the language could be a challenge - both for Danish guys, who think their English are not so good or for me who also doesn't have English as my mother tongue (and only knew danish words as "Tak" and "Applesinen" - not really useful, right?). The point here is that even I was not that brave about communicating, but we all tried, and I felt welcome as a part of the KFS community.
Easter camp and new insights
As an exchange student being a part og KFS, I was able to attend to good discussions and amazing talks both in Copenhagen and not least during the Easter Camp! At this yearly national camp I understood better the structure of KFS, learned more about transcultural mission (from an European perspective), heard encouraging testimonies and also celebrated my birthday! But most of all, taking part in KFS activities during the semester have given me really good insights that I can bring home to my local group in Brazil.
I can truely say that I was blessed to be a part of KFS. For me, seeing Jesus in others' lives in the local eventweek "STORY" and being mentored in Cross-Current Politics (The Cross-Current programme is a series of mentoring groups for young Christian professionals) of IFES Europe were a really striking experience as a servant of Jesus in this society. In small things as a picnic at Fælledparken or a funny tour in Tivoli were opportunities to enjoy blessings of God with some KFS friends. Furthermore, I was super happy about having an "Uncover" group (study material for reading the bible across faith barriers) with a friend. I liked the method very much, since it produces deeper discussions and reflexions about life, specially to my friend who was not a believer and a lot of questions about the Bible - it was a good way to get amazed about the Jesus story and how He changes the course of our lives.
A semester to remember
Indeed, I'll not miss the strength of wind during the winter, but for sure the hygge concept, the sense of community and going everywhere with my bike are things that I will really miss from Denmark. Furthermore, and this is more important, I will remember all special people who I got to know and the KFS guys who welcomed me in such a great way! Many times I saw God planting special people on my way and preparing experiences and situations to me, in order to grow as human and as a Christian. I had a wonderful time in Denmark and with the local IFES! More than to learn serving and doing lots of things as I was used in Brazil, I could have important moments to think about details and also seeing the glory of God when I was served by my brothers and sisters. I can truely say that it was a semester, not to take vacations from my work in the student ministry, but to apply Jesus' teaches on my daily life and on my new campus and to glorify God with my own life outside my comfort zone. For those and other reasons, I'm really grateful for everything God had planned for me and has done done during this period in the Danish lands!