Missionary Conference, Part IV

Sunday morning started early!  We went to the worship time at the 8:15 service and were dismissed with the children to talk to the kindergarteners.  They were FULL of energy in spite of the time change!  We taught them a song in Spanish and talked a little about the hats WE wear as missionaries.  Then we had the challenge of speaking to the primary kids, many of whom were in the AWANA group or Explorer Girls the week before.  We brought out the hats we’d used at AWANA, and some of the kids remembered just about everything we’d said the week before!  We asked the kids questions as review for those who were at another presentation during the week and to catch the other kids up on what those kids already knew.  Then we talked about what WE do, since before we had focused on missionaries in general.  I think they understood how missionaries go out to do one thing, but often “wear many hats”.  We had a good time with those kids!

We actually ran back to the apartment and laid down for half an hour before going to our lunch engagement.  That was a neat time – the lunch, not the nap!  We met with a small group that meets Sunday afternoons to “digest” the sermon together.  I LOVE that idea!  In fact, I had just told Wes I’d like to have a Sunday School class that meets just to dig deeper into the sermon, since we attend the early service and have Sunday School second.  So we had lunch with around five other couples and some of their kids.  It was an informal time of getting to know each other, as well as an opportunity for them to ask questions about our ministry.  One couple was in the young couples’ Sunday School class when my parents taught it, so they shared a bit about our family’s history at the church.  I always enjoy hearing how my parents and grandparents helped teach people more about God’s Word. 

We finished in time to rest again before going to the final service of Missionary Conference.  We had no idea what was in store for us.  We heard testimonies from a few more missionaries, and enjoyed a service that challenged the congregation to be willing to do whatever God asks in missions – whether that means praying, giving, sending notes of encouragement, or going.  A few people felt called to give their lives to full-time service, but just about everyone committed to seeking more ways to be involved where they are!  At that point, all of the missionaries were called forward, while Pastor Paul spoke a little about missionaries. It was humbling to be included in that group of people!  There were missionaries there with over 60 years of service!  The congregation stood in honor of what God is doing through missions in Aldan, Pennsylvania, The US, and the world.  In closing, the “missionary roll call” was read, and we were to leave, carrying our country of service’s flag, when our name was called.  The list included all 50 missionary units (singles, couples, families) of the church, whether they were in attendance or not.  Since we have only been on the field for six years, we were among the first to leave.  People were calling out encouragement and giving us hugs as we left.  We gathered in the narthex of the church to receive the other missionaries – some with high fives, others hugs, and ALL applause.  When Mrs. Marge Montgomery started down the aisle, the last to leave with her 69 years of service, we had a rhythm going and just felt CHARGED to be a part of a group serving God in so many places and so many ministries around the world!  It was truly awe-inspiring!  It was in that moment that I felt ready to go back to Honduras and hit the ground running!!  We ended the evening with a reception in the gym.  Of course, we were among the last to leave, and we left exhausted, but we left feeling honored to be a part of what God is doing among the nations!

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