By Amy Fogleman, RN

During February 8-10, 2018, over 200 students from all over the U.S. and Canada gathered at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI for the Faith and International Development Conference (FIDC).


This three-day conference attracts students who are interested in programs of development, global studies, and missions. The FIDC provides opportunities for these students to engage with and learn from speakers and organizations who work in global development, in hopes of inciting their interest for global service.

The conference theme, “Home: Restoring Our Dwelling Place,” centered around Isaiah 58:12, “Your people will be called the repairers of broken walls, and the restorers of streets to dwell in.” The goal of the conference was to challenge the attendees to think deeper about what it means when working in a broken world.

Plenary conference speakers included:

  • Kent Annan – Cofounder of Haiti Partners and author of Slow Kingdom Coming
  • Belinda Bauman – Author and founder of One Million Thumbprints
  • Mark Charles – Navajo writer, speaker, and founder of Five Small Loaves
  • Debbie Dortzbach – Head of Global Health for World Relief
  • Carlos Hernandez – Director of the Association for a More Just Society in Honduras
  • Sumshot Khular – Vice President of Naga Women’s Union in Manipur, India
  • Steven Bouma-Prediger – Professor of Religion and Director of the Environmental Studies program at Hope College

I had the honor of leading two breakout sessions on Friday during the conference. The first titled, “Let the Oppressed Go Free: Becoming a Champion for Maternal & Child Health,” and the second, “Share Your Food with the Hungry: Becoming a Champion for Global Nutrition.”


The presentations discussed the current climate surrounding maternal and child health or global nutrition issues in developing countries. During the session, time was provided for the students to “Think. Pair. Share.” which prompted the students to think and discuss with the other attendees ways they could affect global change from right here, at home in the U.S. We discussed the method of advocacy and how using their voices and engaging in advocacy work can make a positive difference in the lives of people in need of foreign-assistance around the world.

In case you missed the presentations, please find them here: