Okay, so this is a bad picture. My camera was dying and I had to take a fast shot — this is just part of the missions conference we just attended at Lancaster Bible College. There must have been close to 70 missionaries in attendance from many different organizations. Our table is there on the right.
We had such a great time at LBC. This was our first time there and we are looking forward to going back. The Conference was just wonderful – they really did a great job emphasizing missions to their students.
Some of the highlights:
- The worship time each morning was really great. The LBC choir and worship team are amazing. Click here for a [choppy] video I took (it was dark and I was way in the back, but the music is pretty cool – take a listen). We were given the awesome opportunity to hear Paul Borthwick speak – very, very good speaker!
- Tuesday morning, we were part of a Q&A panel with 4 other missionary men. The topic we addressed was, “Relationships Between Natives and Missionaries.” We had the least experience and were the youngest of about 30 years on this panel. We did have things to add, but let’s just say it was a good reminder that we have a long ways to go in our “missionary career”!
- Tuesday evening, I went to a faculty member’s home and was able to speak to 22 female students. It was a wonderful evening connecting with the girls, answering questions, and encouraging them into missions.
- Wednesday morning, we attended another panel: “How to Embrace Worship in Another Culture.” We had one other missionary lady on the panel with us and then probably 30 students, most of whom are Worship Majors. We initially weren’t sure we’d have much too offer because honestly, anymore, when we think of “worship”, “music” is not the first thing that comes to our minds. So, we weren’t thinking that these would be musicians we’d be speaking to (and Brian and I are not musicians by any stretch of the imagination!). But, as we got going, we realized we did have things to contribute. I have done a lot with music over the years and I have the unique experience of living and working in Montreal in a very multicultural church. Plus, we traveled around in Peru and saw the diversity in worship styles and music there as well. It ended up being very simple to fill our hour session and we really enjoyed it.
- Our kids were babysat Monday evening in the hotel. The babysitter was, we thought, a friend of a friend, but when she arrived at the hotel I took one look at her and said, “Have we met before? Did you visit us in Peru?” Turns out, she DID visit us in Peru back in ’09 as part of a very large youth group! It was wonderful seeing her again and I think it was a total God-thing because it gave me that much more confidence in leaving our kids with an “unknown sitter.” And the kids did great with her!
- Tuesday and Wednesday during the days, the kids were watched by some other friends in the area – who were part of that same missions team in ’09. When we last saw them, neither of us had kids and now they have 3 and we have 2! They were so generous in offering their time and their home and our kids had a blast and didn’t want to leave either day.
Every time we get to represent BCM, especially at a college, we are reminded how much we just love encouraging young people into missions. Sometimes, they just need someone to push them out of their comfort zone and offer them an opportunity they didn’t even realize existed. We love sharing our stories and encouraging people to use the talents they have, even if they’re not the “traditional missionary” talents. We had one young man telling us how disappointed he is that he doesn’t have the finances to do more than an Associates degree and he was wondering how he could be an effective missionary with only an Associates; he was just convinced he didn’t have the qualifications or experience to serve the Lord. Brian looked at him and said, “We only have an Associates and we served overseas for 4 years and are full-time missionaries. God can use whatever!” He left encouraged and excited about what God has in store for him.
Now comes the fun part of follow-up! Pray with us for these young people we contacted this week, that they wouldn’t lose the momentum of missions conference and that they would follow the Lord’s leading, even if it’s not with BCM.