A car is rented and partly loaded for our road trip to North Carolina for the New Wineskins for Global Missions Conference at Ridgecrest–and a couple of side meetings along the way. Yesterday was a grand Easter, capped off by a delightful meal with international students from the local university. All throughout was the bubbling up of reflections and ideas for the Missions Conference–Linda and I will be presenting one workshop on Asia and another on Mobilizing Parishes (to be offered twice). One of the great joys for me is seeing how God is knitting together many different strands in our lives into a colorful fabric. My parents used to host college students every Sunday evening in our home when I was in elementary school. Singaporean friends will be addressing the Conference. Our director for discipleship, with experience and a heart for Japan, is attending the Conference–along with five others, a total of eight from our Church. Interestingly, St George’s in Singapore hosted one of the largest Japanese fellowships outside Japan. A trip to Asia last summer has set in motion another trip to Asia this coming summer–even while my son prepares to go with friends on a mission to Uganda (ask me about it, and I’ll gladly tell you as many details as I know). Our parish has been steadily working at praying for the Dong in China for five years; Linda and I have been praying for fifteen years now. And the network of prayer continues to expand.
That seems to be the heart of these reflections> God does work out his purposes faithfully and persistently, and we will see him at work if we are patient and enduring. There is no way that I could see all these things coming together in my life today, fifteen or twenty five years ago. But God in his own economy builds the momentum and nurtures the growth.If you are interested in missions or committed to seeing God work among a particular people, let me encourage you to commit to run the race with endurance. God is not a fast food restaurant nor an ATM machine. He works gently yet with great power; he works in miracles and in seasons. Do not rush him; and he will surprise you with things that you did not see at first–even though he was there working all along.
Please do pray for a safe drive, for good conversations, for fruitful workshops, and for the joy of the Lord to overflow. Most of all, pray that all of us at the conference would keep our eyes on the Lord, worshipping him first–our efforts in missions are not our god, but the fruit of our love for our God. Thank you.