Thursday, October 27, 2011

Church Planters Conference!?!

O, I guess sometime around last October a preacher from Missouri came to Newport to preach at the prison here in Newport.  He stopped by our church and invited us to lunch. He paid!!!  (We like those type of preachers!).  He mentioned that his church was hosting a church planters conference and invited us to attend.  A church planters conference?  I had never heard of such a creature.  We filed it away in our little brains and went on with our lives.  We (at least I) half-heartily prayed that we would get to attend. 

Closer to the dates, my husband was reminded of that conference and we began to really {whole-heartily} pray that we would be able to attend.  My husband put in for time off at his part-time job and we started making plans "just-in-case".  Well, by some miracle he was granted the time off (Long story); but then we had a problem.  The weekend before we were scheduled to leave we had to pull over on the side of the road because our van started to overheat...really badly.  We have a little bit of experience in the area of car troubles (My dear husband has replaced clutches, brakes, two timing belts,  re-built an engine after the head gaskets blew, etc, etc) so we didn't panic; but perhaps we should have ~humanly speaking of course.

We have a policy about this sort of thing.  Replace the cheap stuff first; but if that doesn't fix it THEN, go ask for "professional" help.  Well, tomorrow we are going to go ask for professional help.  BACK TO THE STORY AT HAND.

We really felt that the Lord wanted us to go to that conference so we used our meager funds and rented a vehicle ( Honestly, it was kind of fun riding in style...with heat!)  We arrived a little late; but were excited to finally get there...and boy aren't we glad we went!!!!  I would recommend THIS conference to ANYONE. 

I LOVE missions and missionaries.  I graduated from OBC.  It is kind of hard to go to Oklahoma Baptist College for four years and not love missions and missionaries; but sometimes I feel that us church planters get overlooked.  If there are no churches in America, who is going to send the missionaries to other nations? The Lord has blessed America to be the leading country in this area; but that could change if we are not careful to evangelize those in our Jerusalem and Judea.  Enough about that!

I said all of the above as a pre-cursor to this...At the conference I was able to get re-acquainted with one of my dear former roommates from college ~Rachel Stene and her husband. 

They have a beautiful family and it was a lot of fun remembering old times and catching each other up on what the Lord is doing in our lives.  Also, I met a family who had just joined the hosting church the Sunday before the conference.  They jumped right in and were helping at each meal (Don't you just love people like that.  Every pastor covets members with  a servants' heart).  Well, One day we got to sit at lunch with them and talk.  They are an older couple.  He shared with us that he has a real burden for Jewish people.  What he didn't tell us is that he was on deputation to go to minister to the Jews in NYC.  He had over 85% of his support raised and was making preparations to leave for the field when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  Because of this, they are no longer able to go and serve the Lord in that capacity.  When I heard their FULL story, I was deeply moved. 

Lord, please remind me of this couple's story when I am tempted to complain when things don't go the way I planned or would have preferred here in this your ministry.

Until next time,

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