We were able to serve our Pastors at the conference and attend some really great sessions from people like Pastor Dino, Pastor Brian Houston, Ps. Billy Hornsby...the list goes on and on.
Then as soon as we got back in town we started making preparations for the Men's Conference. There were about 600 guys who came to the 2 day conference at HPC and Elevate got to serve them. It was really cool to see so many families represented. I overheard a statistic as I was serving ribs, sausage, fried chicken, red beans and rice, mashed potatoes and gravy and a brownie (yes all on one plate)..it said that if the mother is the only believer in the house there is only a 12% chance that the children will be believers when they grow up, but if the father is a believer there is a 93% chance that the children will grow up in the faith. Wow!
Then after the Men's Conference I was back at Sunday services at St. Amant to teach Children's Church and answer the question, "where have you been?" to my class of 8 kids. Ha Ha, I missed them too. It is crazy how quickly you build a relationship with children when you see them every week for a hour.
To top off this great week I got to hear from 2 amazing pastors from Hilsong Church. Joel A'Bell is a campus pastor in Sydney, Australia and Zhenya Kasevich pastors Hilsong in Ukraine and Moscow, Russia. My head is spinning from all of the wisdom in the past week!
Well we start the next week off with prayer. We are begining our morning prayer for the mission trips tomorrow morning at 7 am. The time isn't creeping by here...it is actually like warp speed ahead. If I have learned one thing in ministry it is this (thanks Pastor Mike) .. if the Devil can't stop something he will speed it up. I feel like the past 8 months have flown by. I have filled a journal with thoughts, blogged over 100 posts, made tons of phone calls and written countless emails, but I think all this time would have been for nothing if I hadn't taken the time to improve my relationship with God and made lasting relationships with the people I have served with.
If you will join with me in prayer for the next two weeks I think we may be able to make a lasting impression on this world. This morning Zhenya (pronounced Jenya) shared with us one of the biggest revelations he has been given this year as he pastors 2 churches in 2 different countries. He says to pray for 4 things, and I would like you to join with me in praying for them:
- That God would change the spiritual atmosphere over Swaziland
- That we would be able to change the thoughts of the people we are trying to reach
- That we would be able to change the customs of the land (not in a weird Americanizing way - Read Matt chapter 5 and look for when Jesus says, "But I tell you..." he was trying to change the customs)
- That we could change the beliefs of the people - the restrictions placed on the church by the people who are set in their ways of what church should look like
I know that this can only happen if it is birthed in prayer. And I know that 10 days in a place is not enough time for that to happen - but I do know that there are committed people there on the ground that will benefit from this prayer long after we come back. My friends, Natalie, Patrick and Ben and Susan Rogers and their family, the volunteers at the Care Points and the countless children they serve will be the ones to benefit from our time sacrificed in prayer.
Please commit to pray with me. Whenever you can. How ever much time you can give. Please pray.