It was all worth it. Every phone call, every minute (hours) sitting in traffic, every paper cut received, every frustrating moment, every miscommunication, every miscalculation… it was all worth it.
(Bo Conference team with speakers)
Sometimes you go through really crappy things and don’t see the result until months or years later and maybe even sometimes you don’t see it at all. But in regards to these Church Leaders Conferences, God showed me the fruit right away. If you have been following my Sierra Leone adventure so far, you will know that the road leading up to these conferences was not a smooth one. This has honestly been one of the most frustrating, annoying, time consuming, stressful, uncomfortable, tasks that God has given me but it has also been one of the biggest blessings and joy producing experiences as well.
There were many miscommunications along the road and many oversights as well. For example I miscalculated the total money needed for the first conference by a mere 11 million Leone (~$2700 USD). Or the unexpected bloopers like a nation wide petrol shortage that led to us not being able to run the generators the whole conference, which meant no fans, microphones, projectors, or cell phone chargers. I wont fill you in on allllll the mistakes I made so as to keep some dignity but lets just say there were more than a few.. hehe..
Logistically the conferences went as followed:
Bo and Freetown~ 425 participants
Denominations represented~ 7
Pages printed~ 21,940
Paper cuts~ 16 + 1 on my elbow (most likely from Dulce!)
Miles driven~ 541 kilometers in 8 days
Plates of rice eaten~19 plates of rice in 10 days
Phone calls received~ by the last few weeks they all became a big blur… but lets just say A LOT!!
(Pastor Moses, Lawrence (ship friend), Chris Ampadu)
So besides the prep stuff I bet you are wondering what the conference was about. The conference was called “Partnership in whole-person ministry”. The purpose of these conferences was to create unity among all of God’s children and to empower and equip the local church leaders by teaching them how to carry out holistic ministry not just in their churches but in their family and communities as well. The response was more than I could have EVER imagined! To Him who does TONS more than what we could EVER imagine or think up because of the power of Him who is within us. (Eph 3: 20)
(Myself with Chris Ampadu, the main speaker)
Over these past few days I have been reading over the participants evaluation forms and I have been so blessed and encouraged. It’s amazing to hear all that God has done and will continue to do. Here are some of the things I read:
I sincerely appreciate this Mercy Ships leaders conference. I saw it as a means of uniting and empowering the body of Christ for productivity in life and ministry.
The Mercy Ship training has pushed me to reach the unreached through not just spiritual means but by ministering to the whole person.
In Matthew 7 it says that ‘not all that say Lord Lord will inherit Gods kingdom but only those who do the will of God’ and I don’t want to loose Gods kingdom and therefore I am going to do all that I can to completely and totally obey and walk according to His will.
The thing I liked most was the participation of Christians regardless of their denomination.
This conference has been an eye opener to me about how we should be doing ministry and especially with the presentation coming from our African brothers was especially enlightening.
This conference is very good and timely in the sense that it is opening out eyes not to focus on just the spiritual aspect but on the physical, social, and moral aspect of man. This has been lacking in our churches. After going through this conference I am going to try and focus more on development not only in my church but also in the communities that I am a part of.
I want to be a catalyst of change and begin by implementing this knowledge within myself and to my family. I also want to take these truths to the NGOs and church leaders that I work with.
The conference is fine and I enjoyed it, but as for me I am a Muslim but having learned something from this conference about Christ I now decide to be a Christian… Mariama (HOW COOL IS THIS)
See what I mean… How amazing is our God?! My ship sister Dulce and I (now renamed Bulce and Decca) were talking after the conferences and honestly not only did we see and hear amazing things from the participants but we ourselves got a lot out of these conferences.
My prayer is that this wouldn’t just be another conference that these church leaders attended but that it would be the beginning of a transformation in their own lives, which would lead into their families, communities, and ministries as well. I pray that through each and every person that heard about the way Jesus did ministry that they would emulate him in their own lives as well. I pray that above all things that God would receive all the praise and glory!!
A good friend told me this quote that I think is so true..
“Never think that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
To hear more about the different groups that we invited to speak check out their websites:
A matter of belief
5 years ago