Thursday, September 26, 2019

Love Inspired

While we still have a morning session to finish up tomorrow at our annual JV fall conference, tonight is our last night at the cultural house in Frydlant for the evening program.

Maybe I've said this before...but the reason we come down into town to the cultural house for our evening programs is because our tent doesn't provide any soundproofing; since we don't want to bother our neighbors in the evening we come here. Thankfully this space works out for us, though it means a drive (or a ride in the buses we rent!) for everyone each night.

If I could transport you here for just one night in the year  to see what we do, it would be for this night, the last one of our fall conference. This conference is focused on training and equipping our team, which includes both national and 2nd culture missionaries (those serving outside of their passport country), as well as up and coming leaders who are working with our JV teammates.

The Croatia team who won the volleyball tournament today!

At our spring conference in May, we honor our 2nd culture missionaries with awards for their excellence in ministry in the categories of our core values. At fall conference we honor our national missionaries, who are serving in their home contexts, for those same values: bold faith, deep integrity, God honoring excellence, dynamic community, indigenous empowerment.

Kuldar from Estonia being given the Dynamic Community award!

Tonight's program also allowed us all a window into various countries, hearing testimonies of how God's love is being expressed in local ministry contexts.

Ermal from Albania shared a precious story of his cousin coming to faith in Jesus at their English camp this summer. Amazingly, our communications team was at that camp and captured his cousin telling his story on video. When that video is released publicly, I'll try to remember to post it - hearing him tell about coming to faith just 24 hours earlier is so dear!

After several other moving testimonies, the final one was given by a special guest Dave had invited from Dresden, Germany, who has spent the past 25 years sharing the love of Jesus with young people in that city.

He doesn't speak English so was translated by Tabea from Germany!

If you had time to listen to some of those testimonies you can find them HERE under the "Love Inspired" talk. The testimonies start at 44:00 and end about an hour later, before we went into a time of beautiful worship.

This was such an inspiring evening, being taken along on a journey by our teammates of love "going" to others. But the thing is...we heard only a fraction of the stories from across all of our countries!

Like my long-time friend and JV teammate, DU from Romania, who has unending stories from her country of reaching out to people in Jesus' name!

I'm glad we will have all of eternity to hear story after story of people laying down their lives for the sake of the Gospel, loving people in the name of Jesus, and coming alongside them in an infinite number of ways to communicate the heart of a loving Father who longs to be in relationship with us all!

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