Photo: Albin Hillert/CEC
By Klaus Rieth
Still only 17-years-old, Malva Rosenfeld is the youngest person attending the General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) in Novi Sad. Malva was invited to come as a youth adviser and is part of the Swedish delegation. She comes from the central Swedish town of Nora.
This enthusiastic young woman was invited to Novi Sad because of a speech she gave in her home congregation that impressed many people. A good year ago she gave a report in her church about the situation of children worldwide who die before they turn five. Her urgent plea was to take action and raise money for meaningful projects. A visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp also left a deep impression, she herself having Jewish ancestors.
Malva has a younger sister and comes from a home where religion is not given prime importance, but through her confirmation and the preparation from her pastor she became familiar with the Christian faith—and developed a desire to become a youth leader in the church youth group.
Engaging in the topics
Malva is in her element in Novi Sad, she reports. She meets with other youth delegates, youth advisers and stewards, and enjoys making new friendships with people from all over Europe. “They all want to do something to improve the world and they also believe in God,” she says.
Even if she is not used to having to listen to presentations for two hours at a stretch, the topic “hospitality” has become important to her. She is also interested in the subject of Europe’s future and how the issues can be put into practice.
When she returns home she will report to her congregation about her experiences in Serbia, particularly the deliberations there on “justice” and “human rights”. Sweden still admits many refugees from all over the world, which must continue, she says. “We must think about how grateful we would be if we had to flee and other countries took us in.” Integrating these refugees is another area close to her heart.
Besides work at the Assembly there has still been time for leisure. On the second day after they arrived, she says, there was a little open-air concert in Novi Sad. The band played the ABBA hit “Mamma Mia” which almost brought tears to her eyes.