Part III (Vision Conference)

We were TRYING not to worry all week about our Saturday plans!  We were scheduled as breakout speakers representing Latin America at the Vision Conference for middle- and high-schoolers in Lancaster, PA.  We traveled there with a missionary to Kenya and her assistants for the day.  We began with a good time of prayer for the youth attending the conference and that our efforts would be multiplied and GOD’S message to the youth received!  We were asked to give the kids a creative missions experience with several components.  We were to have 125 kids for 2 hours!  Well, this is a GOOD thing, we found out a few days before that there would be 25 more kids per session.  MANY more than anticipated signed up!  We had asked 2 people to help us with small group stations (of 30 participants!!) and the conference was to provide us with 2 more.  As it turned out, we received more help than we asked for, which made the day run very smoothly!  We spent about 2 hours setting up the room and getting the food ready – we were responsible to give them a snack from our region of the world.  Of course, we were already tired from the week of Missionary Conference at Aldan, but the Lord gave us the energy to make it through.

The kids came to us right after lunch.  Wes gave an introduction to ministry in Latin America and then to our ministry at camp.  We went on to share a few prayer requests for Honduras.  I wasn’t sure about this next part.  We planned to pass a microphone and pray together – out loud – for Honduras.  This was a group of kids that didn’t know each other!  Wes challenged the youth to step out of their comfort zones and participate.  They DID!  After we had prayed for several minutes, we broke the kids into 5 groups to start the stations.  Each station had a purpose behind it – to share the importance of understanding culture, of language, of perseverance, to share our particular goals in a work team experience, etc.  We spent an hour having each group do each activity and came together for questions and answers.  The kids asked some GOOD questions.  Then one of the other leaders took a few minutes to pray for US, which was a nice surprise.  We closed with a challenge for each of us to discover what kinds of gifts God has given us and what He may be calling us to do.  Then spend some time preparing to do that.  It’s not too early to start!  (Remember, these kids are between 11 and 18.)  While we were still cleaning up, someone came to tell us that Ellie was going to share a testimony in the general session.  We dropped everything in a corner and ran up to hear her.  There, before 1,000 people, Ellie shared what God was showing her that day.  She did great!  Her basic point was that it IS worth it.  Serving God is worth the sacrifice; it’s worth the years of hard work; it’s worth the pain of leaving again.  We listened in on the final session and headed home during the concert.  We were BEAT!

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