I\’m a bit late posting this, but that tends to be the pattern I find myself in.
Here\’s a quick update on our the Murdock Baptist mission conference we participated in May 1-3 in Port Charlotte, FL:
As with our last conference, we had a good 12 hour drive to get there. We did the halfway routine where we drove about 6 hours, stayed at a Days Inn (cheap and decent), and drove the remaining 6 hours the next morning. This probably makes us sound like wimps, but we didn\’t get on the road until 7:30 PM on Thursday night so that makes for some heavy eyes about 1:30 in the AM… not exactly conducive to safe driving.
We we made it to MBC, we got our booth set up and were immediately greeted by several church members eager to assist us. We felt very comfortable the moment we walked in the doors. The building was only recently completed and was beautiful. The church is growing and has a clear heart for missions.
Shortly thereafter we were introduced to Ms. Marsha Chancey who would be our host for the weekend. What a sweet lady! She took us in and took great care of us all weekend, driving us to each event and meeting and making sure we were comfortable. She went above and beyond for us and we were very appreciative.
That night (Friday) was the opening session. It was great to reconnect with some of our fellow Word of Life Argentina peeps. Sr. Aleman was the keynote speaker for the evening. His wife was our Spanish teacher when we were in Argentina…. what a small world we live in! His message was very encouraging to us as we were reminded that WHERE GOD GUIDES, HE ALWAYS PROVIDES!!
The next day we were up early and at the church to begin the days activities. Richard and I were scheduled to share at two of the morning sessions. It was awesome to get the feedback and encouragement from those that came to our sessions. Richard was able to share in a more \”one on one\” way of the vision that God has given us. During our \”off\” session, we sat in on a New Tribes presentation. They showed a video that brought tears to just about everyone\’s eyes. It\’s called the EETAOW Video (click to follow link) and many of you may have seen it… I recommend everyone watch it!!
That night we went to a Sunday School class get together at one of the homes. It was a lot of fun to get to know some of the other missionaries participating in the conference as well as some of the church members. One missionary in particular was a blessing to us. George Jackman and his wife are church planters in New Hampshire. They are both very passionate about serving the Lord and their zeal was contagious! Richard had the opportunity to share with the group again about what God has called us to do in Brazil. It was a great time!
The next morning we went to the earliest service (they have three) to hear George preach. Then we shared with the children\’s class and another Sunday school class. It\’s a lot of fun getting to share with a wide range of age groups. Makes sharing a little more fun for us so we aren\’t saying the same things over and over!
The church also has a Slavic ministry and the Slavic Pastor asked Richard to share. Before he got up there, however, we were able to sit in on their music service and communion. The music was awesome! Very energetic. I think though it\’s the first time in our lives that we weren\’t able to understand a word or even read the music during a church service. They don\’t use the same alphabet so we just smiled and enjoyed it. The communion was a bit different too. When we first went in I\’ll admit I was pretty nervous. There was a big cup up from that looked like the holy grail and I starting praying that we weren\’t going to be passing the thing around and drinking out of the same cup… I was on the very back row so by the time it got to me it\’d be nothing but saliva! Fortunately it was just to hold the crackers and we each got our own little cup. 🙂
After that it was time to head out. We went back over to the fellowship hall to take down our table. We got there just in time as Tom Stout (Missions Pastor) closed the door. He said, \”I hope you guys weren\’t needing in there. I don\’t have a key.\” Well, we were. So we ended up hanging out for about 20 minutes while he called around to try to get someone to unlock it. It ended up being a good time of fellowship though.
Soon after that we were on our way and said our goodbyes and thanks to Marsha for all she had done. We had contacted our previous host family, the Sprinkles, and since they were only about 2 1/2 hours away we decided to stop by. They invited us to stay so we did. We got to go to the evening service at FBCCF which was cool. We reconnected with some people we had met from our first conference. What a blessing to have such prayer support!
We spent the evening with the Sprinkles catching up on our Brazil trip and hearing about what was going on in their lives. It felt like our home away from home.
All around it was another AWESOME conference experience. Great people, great church, and great fellowship. We are so thankful for the opportunities we have been given thus far to share about the calling God has given us.
Please continue to pray for our support raising efforts. Times are tough but we know the \”Where God guides, He always provides!\”