I’ll admit it, I’m procrastinating on this one. The last post was easy-peasy to write. Travel details, fun in the sun. But this one…
This is the one where I shed more tears in a week than I have in the last decade. The one where we heard the testimonies of people who have given their entire lives to share the Gospel of Christ. The one where we ministered to these amazing people – and I think they blessed me much more than I blessed them!
See? I’m still in the middle of processing the conference and all it entailed. So, I guess I will press on, with your understanding that I don’t have it all figured out yet.
The conference officially began on Sunday, October 17. Besides a few exceptions, we had a 9am session where we’d play music and some missionaries would share their testimonies, followed by a short break, and then another session before lunch where we’d play music and one of the missionaries would preach a sermon. Then we had either activities or break time in the afternoon, and another session in the evening with more music and preaching.
When you factor in our practice times, it was a very full week!
Our purpose that week was to serve the missionaries. And the main way we accomplished that was through our music ministry. We had practiced a large binder FULL of songs, so once we were at the conference, Pastor Craig chose songs for each session. True to his usual worship style, he also chose relevant Scripture passages and quotes to read. Many of the missionaries expressed how meaningful the worship time was for them, especially his poignant readings.
I gotta tell you, these missionaries sang with their whole hearts! I was blown away by the passion they displayed during worship. No apathy here!
And here’s a little video clip, taken with our camera (not the most professional quality)…
As I looked out on the group during worship, many times I could see people wiping their tears away. Many people told us that it was just so wonderful to be able to worship in English again. It was a powerful time each day, and I have to give the credit to the Holy Spirit for moving among us!
Another aspect of serving the missionaries was just interacting with them!
One day, we were invited to a Ladies’ Luncheon, where the girls on our team were able to interact with all the female missionaries. I really enjoyed it! I was able to sit next to Beth Hafer, a missionary in Hungary. We have a special connection, because her parents and my parents belong to the same church family!
Our super-cool teammate Brittany was responsible for the last way of serving the missionaries. As a licensed cosmetologist, she provided haircuts (along with her faithful assistant Dana). And boy, did she do LOTS of them! (Apparently, it can be hard to communicate what you want your hair to look like when you’re in a foreign country with a language barrier!)
So, that’s the gist of how we served the missionaries. But in so many ways, we were blessed and encouraged by this experience as well.
Blessing #1 – Time to bond with our teammates.
Serving Christ together creates a special bond. And I’m so thankful for that! This group of people is dear to my heart!
Blessing #2 – Experiencing new sights!
Blessing #3 – Hearing the stories of missionaries who have dedicated their lives to Christ’s service!
Next up – THE GEBERTS! One missionary couple’s testimony that left a lasting impact with us.