I’m still doing laundry and unpacking from our trip to our field conference this week. We just returned yesterday and our hearts and minds feel full of things we want to reflect on and spiritual truth we still need to chew on.
As we left for our conference last Sunday I will admit we were feeling tired and overwhelmed by many different recent circumstances that have affected our focus and our drive as we continue to serve here in Mexico. I asked the Lord to please encourage us at the conference because we really needed it. Our Father is a good Father and He has definitely answered that prayer. We were incredibly challenged, encouraged and motivated by this conference time and we are so thankful to the Lord for it!
I’ll just share a few highlights of our conference time in an attempt to express just a little bit of what made it so wonderful. I hope it encourages you too and that you can praise the Lord along with us. I will TRY to keep this brief and include lots of pictures. ;D
We were incredible blessed to have a team from a church in Texas come and do child care for us. This may not seem like a big deal but it is! The team put on a wonderful kids club for all the children which enabled all of the us parents to enjoy hours and hours of group sessions, listening to teaching and updates from different ministries without needing to be distracted by the needs of our little ones. The kids really enjoyed the program and that was special.
Next I’ll mention the speaker. The same church that sent the childcare team also brought our speaker. Pastor Dennis was a delight to listen to and he spoke truth in a way that was loving and understanding and deeply challenged us all. I so appreciated the way he met us missionaries with a realistic perspective and understanding that we are all people who struggle and are not what many people think of missionaries as all-spiritual giants who never have a discouraging day. 🙂 Truth is freeing and encouraging and the truth Pastor Dennis shared was exactly that. He didn’t pull any punches… in the best way possible.
Fellowship. That was another part of the conference that we all greatly benefitted from. What a huge treat it was to spend time with each other- all people in full time ministry who have so much in common even though our ministries look very different at times. It was a treat to stay up late laughing and talking about everything.
Perspective Realignment. Sometimes we can get really caught up in our own little part of the big picture. We can forget that we are part of something bigger and that God is using a huge team with countless parts to build His church. I so appreciated being reminded of that fact at conference. It is so encouraging to hear updates of how God has moved over the last two years in different areas and gain a better perspective of how things really are happening! Even when the news is not so good it’s encouraging to retain the perspective that we are in this as a team.
For those of you reading this blog who support us financially or through your prayers, you need to be encouraged by the “team factor” as well. As part of our team God is using you as well to build His church and that is very exciting!
I wish you could have been there to hear a story of how the Lord protected one team from potentially being kicked out of the people group they are ministering to by using the testimony of locals saying how much the missionaries have helped them. I wish you could see a tribal man who was once a boy in his mountain home getting pulled into drug trafficing who then later got saved and is now a missionary to his own people along with his family. And then hearing that same man share how much of the Scriptures have now been translated into his language and reporting of the new believers in his family and language group. I wish you could hear about prostitutes who are being loved and saved, I wish you could hear about leaders in one tribal group recently giving permission to the missionaries to start teaching Gods word to them next month! And it would be so wonderful for you to hear about how missionaries’ children are helping to reach the lost, to see pictures of baptisms in rocky rivers and little ravines or to hear the testimony of a tribal man who has accepted Christ… along with his four wives.
God is BIG and He is at work. It is a privilege to be a part of reaching the lost with the very small part of it that we can see.
I’ll finish by sharing one very special part (of the MANY special parts) of conference that humbled me and encouraged me. On our last day of meetings a representative of each tribal language that is currently being ministered to was asked to go to the front of the room and share with us in that language. It was absolutely incredible to hear them one by one go down the line and hear the distinct words, tones and intonations of each language. We couldn’t understand a single word of course but I felt like weeping as I imagined our heavenly Father receiving glory through every single word. The Creator of each one of those languages desiring to have a relationship with every single person speaking each one. I couldn’t help but think about eternity when every tongue will confess that He is Lord; tongues from thousands of tribes and languages. Just hearing a very small group of people speak many languages of Mexico was enough to have me crying like a baby, I can’t even imagine what it will feel like before the Lord!
So yeah, I’ll leave it there. I hope that was encouraging for you just hearing a small bit of the blessed few days we had at our conference. We were very very encouraged.