2008 Mission Conference – Day 2 (pics at end)

It’s hard to express all the things which go through my mind during mission conference week.  I’m always so impressed and encouraged by hearing about the work going on around the world to share the Gospel of Jesus.  Here are some of my thoughts in nutshell about the week so far:

·         Love – These people love Jesus and love the people they are serving.  Many of the missionaries get choked up telling about those in their sphere who have accepted Christ or are open to the Message.  Their face and voice tell the picture of how they feel about these people and what God is doing in their lives.  Laura shared about a little girl who finally understood the stories weren’t fairly tales by saying, “So this God is real…” with a look of wonder on her face.

·         Passion – Missionaries will tell you they are just normal people.  But I say the are normal people with abnormal passion.  Whether they serve in a large metro area or some place more remote, they are focused on teaching people about God.  It was neat to hear about the baseball clinic held in Hungary.  Dan’s eyes lit up as he shared that the clinic grew to over 50 this summer from 9 the year before – and that a good number had put their trust in Christ during the last clinic.

·         Hurt – Their ministry involves people; and sometimes people hurt those trying to love them (duh).  I could see some hurt and weariness in a few cases.  They try to hide this, but sometimes you can read between the lines.  Rejection and fractured teams bring hurt to their lives.  This happens in all ministry venues – but when you’re thousands of miles from home it adds another level of hurt.  Of course, our missionaries think they aren’t supposed to share these things and they should have their happy faces on all the time.  Hey, we love you guys and know it isn’t always a rose garden.  Let us know about the thorns so we can pray for you and love you better.  Your tears and hurt show you are real and gives us a better picture of what missions is really like.

·         Faithfulness – Our missionaries this year are all experienced.  Most over 4 years or more on the field.  One with over 25 years.  At any point it would have been easy for any of them to quit over: economics, family challenges, persecution, weariness, loneliness, home-sickness, or lack of fruit.  But they’ve hung in there and are still serving – and usually with some type of immediate challenge.  It reminds me so much of the verse, “most men will proclaim their goodness, but a faithful man who can find (shawn’s paraphrase).”

·         Me – Finally, a challenging thought about mission conference is, “what does God want from me?”  This thought always crosses my mind this time of year.  I’m an explorer and risk-taker by nature and I usually contemplate whether God wants me to do something like this.  To this point, the answer has been “no.”  However, I’m always challenged about my prayer life towards missions, my giving, and my own level of personal evangelism.

That’s it so far in a nutshell. It’s early in the week – there’s a lot more to hear and learn.  I’m looking forward to it!!

(good turnout for our Monday night dinner – food was great! – fellowship better!)

(a few of our missionaries enjoying dinner)

(more missionaries – on the right – enjoying dinner)

 

(our missionary to Peru sharing about his work)

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2 Responses

  1. It’s very encouraging to see more and more people taking the “missionary path” to serve Christ and mankind 🙂

  2. Great story!

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