Somewhere along the line we stopped counting the number of mission conferences we have participated in. Over the years we’ve been in small ones, big ones, fancy ones and plain. Big dinners, intimate cottage meetings, flags waving from multiple nations, exotic foods… we’ve experienced them all, but many times were left wondering “what made it so moving and special?” And even though we are missionaries, at the end of most of these conferences we’ve left wanting to do it all over again and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8) But why?
At Mountain View in South Africa we are having our own annual missions conference. Tom leads the team that plans the conference and each year asks them – What can we do to make it meaningful, memorable, encouraging and challenging? How can we minister to the missionaries we invite and challenge our people for missions all at the same time?
Our conference theme this year is “Our Good Works…for God’s Glory” from Matthew 5:16. What a blessing it’s been to see the folks at Mountain View engage and get involved. In the end, we will have heard from an American church planter (that’s Tom – he invites himself each year!), two local South African church planters, a missions-minded university professor from South Africa, a South African pastor (Vic and Nicci Willis) who was lead to the Lord by a fellow ABWE missionary in Durban, trained in our Bible institute and called into ministry, as well as a Korean pastor who came to South Africa to learn English and gain theological training, only to be called as a missionary to South African’s homeless and drug-addicted youth. The MV children will have given thousands of coins, our adults – blankets and lots of used clothing. We will have donated Bibles, toys and stationery.
But with all our attempts to impact the people of God with the call to missions as well as having a missions conference that is moving and special like the ones we’ve attended, one thing is evident. It all depends on the work of the Holy Spirit. Truly, we desire for our good works to bring God glory, not only during a missions conference, but every day. However, the fruit of our labor is in the hands of the One who calls. It is God through the work of the Holy Spirit that works in the hearts of people to reveal truth, expose sin, covert souls and lead people to serve Him in missions.
Our earnest prayer is that one day God will call one or many of our South African friends whom we minister to and that they will answer His call with, “Here I am, Lord. Send me. ” All to the glory of God!
Two Prayer Requests:
Pray for the Leadership Team at Mountain View as we plan for 2013 and beyond – God is stirring our hearts to begin a new church plant and we are eagerly seeking Him for guidance.
Pray for a young adult in our church named Matthew who will be baptized in two weeks, and a woman named Pat who is considering her need of salvation, and Chris, who has just learned he has cancer.
For more requests, go to our Prayer Request tab.