Friday, February 27, 2009

"How Beautiful Are the Feet of Those Who Bring Good News..."

Every other year, our mission organization holds a All-Africa conference. Usually it has been held in Kenya, but this year it was in Tanzania--just about a mile away from our house! Even though it was so close, last week we still packed up and drove down to stay at the hotel with everyone else. It was a wonderful five days.

There were about 100 people there: half either missionaries or national leaders from Africa, and half from the States, including a large team from a church in Tenessee, who ministered to us in music, prayer, and child care.

I was blessed by the African national pastors...godly, strong men, all from countries recently devastated by war--yet planting dozens of churches a year. And for the first time in about 18 years, I got to hear real Liberian English...what a joy to my heart!

I was blessed by the missionaries from the other African countries. The vast majority of missionaries there used to serve in Zaire--now known as Congo--and have now been dispersed to other countries because of the war. But the movement of churches in Congo is the second largest in the entire world for our denomiation, second only to the U.S. This group has been serving God in Africa for decades...they all speak multiple languages...they are such an example of faithfulness and sacrifice.

One day, out of curiousity, I counted the career missionaries in the room: 27.
Number of those who are in their 50's or 60's: 20
Number of those who are under 40 years old: 7, counting Gil and I. And all of us are in our 30's.

Where is the next generation? Who will replace them? "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

The best part of the conference was getting to spend time with friends that I rarely get to see. Emily and her husband live a couple hours away from us, but they have two adopted kids that are the same age as our kids, so we have a lot in common.

Grace's two best friends: McKayla and Caleb.
Caleb says to his Mommy: "Isn't Grace beautiful?"
Grace says to her Mommy: "I'm going to marry my friend Caleb."
We think it's a great match!

Josiah is a little fish, just like his sister. Whenever he is in the pool, all he wants to do is repeatedly throw himself in, face first. Guess he trusts us to pick him up every time!

Grace and McKayla entertained each other by coming up with as many ways as possible to go down the water slides.

Gil got up for the sunrise a couple mornings and this was his reward.

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