Tag Archives for " mission "

1 Books, books and more books:

At 7:00 pm we closed the book table, did an inventory and by 9:00 pm had all the remaining books packed up and ready to ship back home. When we closed out the cash register, the sales for the day showed we had been successful in moving a lot of inventory into peoples hands. We were all quite pleased with the results, considering the current state of our economy.

Kelly and I were attending the Mission ConneXion Northwest, sponsored by the northwest area churches and held this year in Vancouver, WA. It’s a two day event challenging the Church to fulfill the Great Commission. We were there assisting Ken, our ACMC team member, with his book sales for the conference.

Kelly and the team set up the book tables for the conference
Kelly and the team set up the book tables for the conference

This event, with its 125 workshops, four leading keynote speakers, and inspirational worship sessions had something for everyone. The attendance count hasn’t been posted yet, but we are estimating around 6 to 7 thousand may have attended. (While it’s not as many as the 15,000 that has attended in previous years, it was a good attendance for the times.)

One view of the crowd mingling in the foyer.
One view of the crowd mingling in the foyer.

About 80 missions agencies set up exhibits providing information about work being done in countries around the world.

Here is our Pioneers booth exhibit, right next to Wycliffe.
Here is our Pioneers booth exhibit, right next to Wycliffe.

In between workshops and general sessions, the book table was a favorite gathering place where a wide variety of books about missions could be found.

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We had 6 long tables stacked with books, videos, and other resources all pertaining to missions.

There was something for people of all ages at the conference and at the book table.
There was something for people of all ages at the conference and at the book table.
This young lady couldn't resist taking a closer look at the book she chose.
This young lady couldn’t resist taking a closer look at the book she chose.
These two college girls found this corner the perfect spot to browse through their books.
These two college girls found this corner the perfect spot to browse through their books.
Connie explains the plot found on this DVD of "The Enemy God".
A customer asks Connie to explain the plot to this DVD movie, “The Enemy God” that was made by our Denver film team.
Kelly rings up another sale.
Kelly rings up another sale.

We love getting mission materials into peoples hands and to the churches. It was a great weekend for us in, even if it was rainy and cold. We even got to have lunch with a couple we hadn’t seen since 1986, back when we were living in Portland. Friends and missions, what a combination.

Reflections:

With the start of a new year, many of us are reflecting on the past year as we look to ‘what’s next’. I’m thinking back over three main events from the last 3 months of 2009.

The first event happened in October when we broke our record for ‘the number of new missionary going through our training program in one year’.  Our 5th and last orientation program for the year had 29 new candidates bringing the years total to 158.

OCT COP 2009

The second event was hosting this group of pastors and church leaders (shown below) for our November Church Partner Forum.

Even though it takes a lot of hard work to put it all together, it’s one of my most favorite events. The positive response and feed back from the participants makes it all worth while.

Church Partner Forum November 2009

Church Partner Forum November 2009

The third event, that just ended on New Year’s Eve, was Urbana 2009. What? You’ve never heard of Urbana?

Urbana logo

Upwards to 20,000 young people (ages 17-30) attend this student missions conference sponsored every 3 years by InterVaristy Christian Fellowship. It started in 1946, and from 1948 to 2003 was held at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana… thus the name “Urbana”. Since 2006 it has been held at the St. Louis Conference Center in Missouri.

It’s amazing to see this many young people give up 5 days of their Christmas break for the opportunity to see, hear and respond to God’s global mission.

Kelly and I had the privilege to attend back in 1991, and were amazed by the zeal and commitment of these young people whose hearts are turned toward God and missions.

PI Urbana 2009

Pioneers sent a team from our office to represent our agency. The photo above was taken by one of our co-worker showing our world globe and Pioneers’ sign hanging over the heads of the participants.

Yes, 2009 has been a great year and we have great expectations for 2010. Our prayer for you is that 2010 will be a blessed year for you and your family. Happy New Year!

From the frying pan into the fire…

From the frying pan…immediately following having “all those Edgers” invade our campus (see previous post on Aug. 9 for that story)…

…we jumped into the fire…with a campus full of new missionary candidates who were going through their first round of training and orientation called, “Candidate Orientation Program” or “COP” for short.  One event following so closely on the heels of a previous event keeps all of us on our toes, but it’s always worth it.

August 2009 Candidate Orientation Program

August 2009 Candidate Orientation Program

We had 44 attending our COP, which means we had to “pack them in,” to make room for everyone. It’s a great problem to have. In this group, the youngest was 18 years old. She’s going to the field for one year and then back to the US to attend college. After getting her degree, she plans to go back to the field full time. The oldest was a couple who said, “retirement is not in our vocabulary”. The husband is 78 and the wife is 68. What an inspiration for all of us to see their desire to “finish well” in their golden years.

8 Three “F’s:” Family – Friends – Fun

Yes that’s right, our 2 weeks in Tulsa and Arkansas were chocked full of family, friends, fun and more. The more was: attending a mission’s conference and Kelly preaching at a couple of churches. I got this great shot of our little munchkin, Ava, and I’d like to introduce her to you.


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Ava is our youngest granddaughter and she is 15 months old. Of course she captured our hearts.


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Little Ava went to Grandpa right away, so I had to wait my turn. This is Kelly with Ava and Katie. Katie is our talented soccer player.


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I was patient and finally got my chance with Ava.


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This is Ava’s dad and mom (Gale & Tamecca).


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Here is Katie again with her dad.


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Emily is granddaughter number three. She is becoming quite the young lady. Grandma got to help her with her homework.


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Gale and Tamecca have a blended family and it never gets boring around their house. Emily is helping Kira color “inside the lines” and Katie is helping Kira’s brother, Aden.


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Here’s a great shot of Tamecca’s 2 boys; Gavin and Aden, and Gale’s 2 girls, Emily and Katie.


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If we weren’t spending time at Gale & Tamecca’s, we were at Erin & Lisa’s house. Here are 3 generations of McClelland’s; Erin, Kelly and Killian. When I said “Smile please.” this was the response I got.


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This photo opportunity was too good to ignore. Erin & Lisa are animal lovers and I think their animals…love Kelly. Jack, the Labrador, is patiently waiting his turn.


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Did I mention “Friends” in my subject line? This is our friend Pat. She made our whole trip possible by inviting us stay in her home while we were in Tulsa. We enjoyed catching up on each others family news and had a great time.


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We also met up with Steve and Margie who are friends we’ve known since Bible school. Was that really 20 some years ago?


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I did mention that Kelly preached at a couple of churches. Here he is looking up a Bible verse at our sending church, Word of Life, in Sand Springs, OK. Pastor Emigh was in Poland and Romania on a missions trip, so Kelly filled in for him for this Wednesday night service.


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This was a special treat for us, Erin and Lisa came to hear Kelly preach and willingly sat on the front row with me.


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When Kelly finished preaching, Erin, Lisa and our friend Pat went with us for a dessert treat at a local restaurant. It was a great way to end the evening.


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Our other preaching opportunity was at another one of our supporting churches in Russellville, Arkansas. Before Kelly began his sermon, the two of us shared about our ministry work with PIONEERS.


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After sharing, I sat down and Kelly shared from the Word of God.


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We always have a good time of fellowship at Russellville Christian Center and they’ve been a great encouragement to us over the years.


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After the service, we had dinner with Pastor Tom and his wife Bonnie, and then headed back to Fort Smith to finish off at the missions conference we were attending.


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That pretty much covers the way our trip went (including the stay in Branson with our grandson mentioned in an earlier post). So, I thought I’d end this post with this last great shot of Ava…what a munchkin.



1 Could You Pass This Test?

1) Where is the largest church in the world? 2) What continent has the most evangelical Christians? 3) What is the largest mission association in the world? 4) Which country sends out the most missionaries per Christian?

The answers may surprise you because, “The Center of Christianity Has Shifted”. This was the topic of our most recent Church Partner Forum held on PIONEERS campus. Our featured speaker was Scott Moreau; author, Professor of Missions & International Studies at Wheaton College and editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly.

If you’re interested in this subject you can read: The Changing Face of World Missions and Engaging Contemporary Issues and Trends from a series written by Scott Moreau called, Engaging Missions.

Oh yes, the answers to those questions above are:
1) Korea [830,000 members (2007)]
2) Asia
3) India Missions Association
4) Singapore

The theme for our banquet was “International Market,” so we transformed the recreation hall with a few treasures several us have brought back from our time serving in various countries.

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Of course no mission trip is complete without the traditional “trunk” to contain all of your possessions.

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And, the best mode of transportation for those narrow streets in Asia is the bicycle rickshaw.

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This was our International Market Street which lead on around to the street-side night café shown below.

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Candle lights on the tables and strands of hanging lights enhanced the night time street café feel.

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Without a doubt, our “food affair” was international all the way.

We added to this international atmosphere by having those who could, dress for the occasion in the cultural dress of a country (or they could go “Hawaiian/Floridian”).  We had a wide range of countries represented:

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Of course, Kelly and I dressed in our Indonesian Batik, as did several others.

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Africa was represented by several, including Denny and Nancy (above).

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We even had the Middle East attire…thank you Art.

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But by far, Tom’s dress was the best…Mongolia!

cpf-apr-2009-grp-photo

This is what our group looked like in “normal” dress. It was another successful Church Partner Forum.

Promised Results & Photos Of Walkathon

The PIONEERS’ “Walk for the World” event last Saturday, was a great success. Thanks for your prayers and support. Through our family, friends—and God’s grace—Kelly & I raised $1,170. The total raised by all participants from our office staff (Orlando & Denver) will be around $30,000, once it’s all collected. With the matching grant we will have nearly $60,000 to help us in mobilizing missionaries into the least reached parts of the world. Praise the Lord!

Kelly and I each walked 5 miles, which means we made our goal of 10 miles between the two of us. The weather was great with just enough of an overcast to keep it cool. The breeze was nice, but it added some challenges to Kelly’s radio antenna, whipping the backpack frame around a lot.

Kelly, aka the Radioman, was able to hear transmissions from 18 countries on four different continents with his 10 watt radio, including hearing a ham operator from Macedonia.

The pictures speak for themselves:

walk-0001a

Connie and Kelly Ready to Meet the Challenge

Connie and Kelly Ready to Meet the Challenge

Connie Picks Up Prayer Request From The Prayer Station

Connie Picks Up Prayer Request From The Prayer Station

Kelly Tunes The Radio As We Prepare to Start

Kelly Tunes The Radio As We Prepare to Start

Back View Of Back Pack Frame With Antenna Mount, Battery Is At The Base On His Waist

Back View Of Back Pack Frame With Antenna Mount, Battery Is At The Base On His Waist

The Walk-a-thon Starts With Prayer

The Walk For The World Starts With Prayer

And They Are Off On Their First Lap

And They Are Off On Their First Lap

Drink Station On One Side - Lap Counters On The Other Side

Drink Station On One Side - Lap Counters On The Other Side

Even The Pets Joined The Walk

Even The Pets Joined The Walk

Not Only Pets, But Lots of Kids TOO!

Not Only Pets, But Lots of Kids Too

PIONEER'S President, Steve, Comes Up Behind Kelly. Watch Out For The Antenna!

PIONEER'S President, Steve, Comes Up Behind Kelly. Watch Out For The Antenna!

The Last Lap! We Did IT!

The Last Lap! We Did IT!

Matt (a co-worker) is Kelly's "Ham Buddie". After The Walk Kelly Helps Matt Set Up His New Radio

Matt (a co-worker) is Kelly's "Ham Buddie". After The Walk, Kelly Helps Matt Set Up His New Radio

Walk Is Over. One Last Transmission On The Way Back To The Car!

Walk Is Over. One Last Transmission On The Way Back To The Car!

It Was A Good Day!

It Was A Good Day!

Walk for the World

The countdown has started, and March 28th is “D” Day for our big walkathon event – one week away. Are we ready for our 10 mile challenge (40 laps)? Wait until you see how ingenious Kelly has been in preparing his “Radioman” setup.  See Kelly’s K4UPG.com Blog for photos of our weekend at Honeymoon Island. (More about this below.)


The Cause:

Our PIONEERS staff is walking to raise $100,000 to send missionaries to 6,500-plus unreached people groups around the world. (Click here to see a brief description how the funds will be used to accomplish our goal.)


walkfor-the-world

Multiplying the Blessing:

A foundation has established a matching grant enabling us to double what we raise, dollar for dollar, for up to $250,000.


The Radioman:

Kelly is taking his ham radio with him to help pass the time as we walk. He has designed a creative way to talk to various countries, states and cities on his amateur radio while walking. Wait until you see!


Pray As We Walk:

We have asked sponsors to give us their prayer requests so our staff can pray for them as we walk. There will be a manned “prayer station” along our route that will be passing out these prayer requests to the walkers as they pass the booth. Kelly will report to the prayer station the countries/states/cities he has contacted, and they will pass that info on to the rest of us so we can pray for those places also.


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hfpack_man_tm Pedestrian Mobile

The Design Challenge:

Radioman calls this type of radio transmitting being “pedestrian mobile,” in Ham Radio talk.

  • Challenge #1: He had to figure out how to “wear” the radio while still being able to reach the controls.
  • Challenge #2: He will also have to carry the rather large battery that powers the radio.
  • Challenge #3: He plans to mount his “Buddistick Antenna” onto an Alice Pack Army backpack (instead of on the extended stationary mount, as seen in the photo below).
Kelly mobile with his radio, and his Buddipole antenna in a ground mount with 3 guy lines for stability

Kelly mobile with his radio, and his Buddistick antenna in a ground mount with 3 guy lines for stability

Stay Tuned For Results:

Many thanks to those of you who have agreed to either pray for our event or to sponsor the two of us. We will post results of how well we do in funds raised, how many laps we actually walk, the names of places Radioman contacts, and of course, some fun photos of the event and of Kelly’s pedestrian mobile design.

2 “MISSIONS COST GOD HIS SON”

THE QUSTION IS:

Are we “asleep in the bottom of the boat” like Jonah, and “is the church failing in our mandate“?

Missions Cost God His Son was the theme for our “Global Impact Celebration” missions’ conference held at Pine Castle United Methodist Church, where Kelly and I are members. (See photos at end of this posting.) Keynote Speaker J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine, author, award-winning journalist, and ordained minister delivered a challenging and thought provoking message from Jonah 1: 1-5.

JONAH:

Rev. Grady spoke about Jonah being in a deep sleep in the bottom of a ship, when God sent a violent storm that threatened to break up that ship. He shared that the storm came, because of a disobedient servant (Jonah). Rev. Grady related this to; ‘We are in a storm today, not just because of the politicians & Wall Street, but also because the church is asleep in the bottom of the boat’.

THE CHURCH TODAY:

He explained that the church has been given the Words of Life – life saving equipment – and we are failing in our mandate to take it out to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria & the Ends of the Earth. We are keeping it to ourselves. God wants our GPS systems to be reprogrammed so we can be heading in the right direction. If we obey, we will see our ship taken to the shore of Nineveh and we will take life to the people.

YOU DECIDE IF THE QUESTION ABOVE IS TRUE

Rev. Grady’s serman ties in with a webinar Kelly listened to about Significant Facts & Trends in the North American Missions Movement (NAMM). The researcher was Michael Jaffarian, Senior Research Associate for Operation World. Here is just one area that he spoke about:

FACTS:

The NAMM is a $6 billion industry with 822 separate organizations;
Those 822 divide into 5 major kinds of mission agencies:
Denominational
Founder  Based
Task Based
Mom & Pop
International Expansion of North American Ministries

LENGTH OF SERVICE:

  • There are about 43,000 N. American long-term missionaries, numbers growing, modestly. (Length of service-more than 4 years.)
  • There are about 8,000 N. American middle-term missionaries, numbers may be declining. (Length of service-less than 4 years.)
  • There are about 150,000 N. American short-term missionaries, numbers growing strongly. (length of service-two weeks up to one year.)

TREND:

The best estimate of the number of American short term mission-trip participants: 1.5 million. (length: 2 weeks or shorter)

The North American churches are sending more than sixty times as many mission-trip participants overseas as long-term missionaries.

Imagine, if an average of $2,000 is spent to send those 1.5 million: that = $300 billion compared to $6 billion given toward long-term workers. Would we consider this a good use of our missions funds?

RESULTS OF TREND?

GROWTH:

Strong growth in short-term missions & mission trips has not produced strong growth in long-term missions. (The number of long-term missionaries is not even keeping up with the rate of national growth.)

GIVING:

It was thought short-term trips might give participants a heart to give to the missions’ program. Research shows that those who are giving, are giving to others going on short-term trips. Again, long-term missions has not benefited from this program.

Mr Jaffarian ended on a positive note: “Trend is not destiny.”       The direction of God trumps the direction of trends.”

This webinar was sponsored by: The Mission Exchange

Photos below are from our Global Impact Celebration – Missions Conference:

Children in Parade of Flags Opening Ceremony Wed. Night

Children in Parade of Flags Opening Ceremony Wed. Night

Wed Night Children's Program

Wed Night Children's Program

Children in Tradional Dress Performing Their Songs

Children in Tradional Dress Performing Their Songs

Youth Skit: Missionary Sharing Her "LIGHT" with the Lost World

Youth Skit: Missionary Sharing Her "LIGHT" with the Lost World

Congregation Visting With Missionaries at Their Display Booths

Congregation Visting With Missionaries at Their Display Booths

Kelly & Connie in Traditional Dress with their display booth set up in the "Missionary Hall"

Kelly & Connie in Indonesian Traditional Dress with their display booth set up in the "Missionary Hall"

3 Jaclyn says: “YAY…YYYYYYYYY!!! STORY’08 WAS AWESOME!!!”

Christa says: “WOW! Last night was amazing! I never felt that close to God. It was the ideal way to start off the New Year! I loved Story ’08! It was great to hear from all these different missionaries and to meet new people.”

Those are quotes or “reviews” from a couple of attendees at Story ’08 which I have copied from our  Story 08 Facebook page.

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The main sessions were held in the sanctuary where a world globe helped us all focus on the needs of the world. Worship was sweet and the speakers were great.

Sanctuary with World Globe

Pine Castle United Methodist Sanctuary with World Globe

The crowd was great, some 300+ in attendance with the majority coming from out of state. Just take a look at the young people in these photos:

The crowd gathering in the lobby between sessions.

The crowd gathering in the lobby between sessions.

College students come to Orlando for the conference.

College students come to Orlando for the conference.

The Lobby Is a Great Gathering Place

The Lobby Is a Great Gathering Place

Kelly and I were in charge of book sales and they were brisk. It looks like we sold over $8000 in mission’s books and resources.

One such book table full of resource material

One such book table full of resource material

Kelly runs the cash register

Kelly runs the cash register

The Line Gets Longer as Kelly Adds up Sales

The Line Gets Longer as Kelly Adds up Sales

Taking A Break Between Sessions

Taking A Break Between Sessions

We finished the event off by bringing in the New Year with a “Concert of Worship and Prayer.” It started at 9 PM and closed at 12:30 AM on Jan 1st.

Concert of Worship & Prayer New Year's Eve

Concert of Worship & Prayer New Year's Eve

We took the globe off its stand and everyone gathered around to pray for the world.

Praying For The World

Praying For The World

Then, just before midnight we started passing the air-filled globe from one side to the other. It was a blast. It was also “heavier” than I thought it would be.

The Globe Goes Up and Over The Heads

The Globe Goes Up and Over The Heads

Hands Go Up and Globe Is Passed Overhead

Hands Go Up and All Join in as the Globe Is Passed Overhead

Here are a few more quotes:

Lesley: What an amazing week! Thank you, Pioneers, and all the people who worked to pull it off! What a great way to ring in the New Year…thanks for the experience. I hope there is a Story 09!

Irma from NY: STORY ’08 was awesome. I’ve been so blessed this week and am glad I came to the conference. Thank you Pioneers!!! God bless~

Emily (student at TCU): Thank you so much, Story’08 Crew!!! I know it was a ton of work, and it was such a blessing for me to learn from y’all and watch your example lived out in front of us. Thank you so much for the incredible amount of yourselves you poured out for us!! It was such a privilege to be around you, and I’m challenged to pray and seek hard to follow your examples in Christ. THANK YOU.

Ted (Valencia Com. College) Story 09…… Story 09….. Story 09…..

I don’t know if there will be a “Story 09”, only time will tell.  Kelly and I were exhausted when it was all over, but it was worth it!

3 DAYS AND 2 NIGHTS IN ORLANDO FLORIDA

What lasts for 3 days, takes place only in the state of Florida, gathers a diverse crowd from other states, produces a network of contacts and resources, and focuses on God’s heart for the Nations? PIONEERS’ Church Partner Forum in Orlando.

Here We Are For Our Group Photo

Here We Are For Our Group Photo

Yes that is right! We’ve wrapped up another successful Church Partner Forum event on our campus at PIONEERS. Kelly and I are very pleased with how well the event was viewed by those in attendance.

We ask our guest to fill out an evaluation of the forum. Here is one of the questions and the answer we got:

What is your overall assessment of the value of this event?

“I was “so” close to burn-out you could smell the smoke…The rest, the hospitality, the care, the pampering, the HELPFUL focusing…it was all great- we’ll be back –you’ll have to ban me from the campus J !”

The weather was a bit “cool” but we did provide the sunshine that we had promised. We actually hit a night time low of 39 degrees while our guests were here, a record for this time of the year.

Some Of Our First Arrivals

Some Of Our First Arrivals

As for us, we are the most rested after one of these events than ever before. Why less stress and weariness? Our team has grown and matured to the point that the two of us, as leaders, could step back and watch them take on more of the program responsibilities and details. It was great! We were freed up to interact on a more relaxed scale with our guest, which was enjoyable and very satisfying .

Greeting Our Guests The First Evening

Greeting Our Guests The First Evening

Everyone Arrives & We Mingle With The Guests

Everyone Arrives - We Mingle and Get to Know One Another

Kelly Getting To Konw Our Guests

Kelly & Ted (Kelly's boss on left) Getting To Know Our Guest (on right)

As for our guest, they were very engaged and full of questions. It was encouraging for us to see their passion for missions expressed in a variety of ways. We had a very diverse group of churches represented. Here is a random example:

  • A rural American Baptist Church (ABC) from Ohio with a congregation about 300 in size. (Sr. Pastor & Missions Pastor attended)
  • An Independent Baptist Church of Virginia founded in 1913 with an attendance of about 750 today. (Global Missions Pastor attended)
  • From Charlotte, NC a new church plant started in 2002 by 2 members of John Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist Church. These 70 faithful members already have 4 of their own sent out as missionaries. (Assoc. Pastor & 2 of their Missions Team attended)
  • A First Presbyterian Church here in Florida, founded in 1876 by 11 members has grown to 4,800 today. (Executive Pastor attended)
  • An Evangelical Free suburban church from the Twin Cities of MN with approx 3,000 members (Director of Global Ministries & his wife)
  • Another Ohio church founded in 1985 by a team of Liberty University grads that now has 1800 attending (Missions Director attended)
  • An independent 50 year old Fresno, CA church with about 4,000 people, they also have a Spanish language congregation and host a Farsi-speaking Persian church (Assoc. Pastor & wife attended)
  • A Southern Baptist Church (SBC) from St Charles, MO with a ministry staff of 13 and a support staff 16 (Missions Director attended)
  • And a Porter Ranch, CA church that became non-denominational as a result of a merger of a SBC and a Christian Church 10 years ago and now has 7000 members (2 Missions staff attended this year after their Pastor and Missions Director attended last year)
    Churches Sharing With Churches

    Churches Sharing With Churches

On Wednesday & Thursday we have sessions that allow for a lot of interaction among the churches. As they share what works or doesn’t work for them in their church, they are networking, building relationships and helping one another with issues that matter to them.

Kelly & Connie Lead the Opening Session

Kelly & Connie Lead the Opening Session

Kelly Gives the Group Instructions

Kelly Gives the Group Instructions

Our Guest Listen to the Instructions before Discussion

Our Guest Listen to the Instructions before Discussion

Interactive Discussions Around The Tables

Interactive Discussions Around The Tables

It’s not all sitting and talking. There is free time factored in to allow everyone a chance to relax and soak in our Florida sun, shop at our craft store or tour our facilities if they choose.

Connie Gives the Pastor & His Wife A Tour of Our Facilities

Connie Gives the Pastor & His Wife A Tour of Our Facilities

Each of these churches are partners with us to send and support their missionaries on the field. So, the relationship doesn’t stop when they return to their respective churches. We will continue to work together in partnership for the sake of their workers on the field. PIONEERS has about 2500 active churches supporting our workers, so we keep pretty busy, and love every minute of it.