15 October 2015

Home-assignment; a conference with my missions sending agency - Ripe for Harvest

It was great to see everyone again, this time in Minnesota.

Founder of RFH, Tim Smith and wife / Earl and Clare Reifel, Africa field directors

Some of the 50 attendees, including Shemayne Wilson, who is on staff.

Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, gave a fabulous keynote address. Here are just a few of his quotes -

"Consider these two statements from the parable of talents, 'Well done, good and faithful servant,' along with 'After a long time the Master returned and settled accounts.'"

"Faithfulness is measured in consistency over the long-haul. Even if it takes a very long time, let us be faithful."

"Most people in most of the world in most of history are poor. Jesus came to bring good news to the poor, the sick, the alien, the widow. God is concerned for those on the margins of society."

 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward the poor and needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor,
he too will cry out and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13)

Blessed is he who is kind to the needy; he honors God. (Proverbs 14:21, 31)

"One of the core bedrocks of the gospel is mercy that goes beyond judgment. Jesus befriended the poor, the outcasts, the lepers. We are his followers and must do the same."

 Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13)

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Here's a brief excerpt I liked from Dan Jessen, a missionary with RFH and one of several others who spoke:
"Americans need to learn humility. The US is not the only country in the world that God cares about. He created so much diversity! We who have lived abroad need to be a prophetic voice of truth when Americans show their arrogance about the US." 

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Leland Eliason, the Executive Director at Bethel Seminary gave a great talk titled "A Lifetime of Bearing Fruit" from John 15:1-17.

I really appreciated these two comments:

"Be joyful. Pause long enough to rejoice that there's fruit in your labors. Focus on the good stuff. Celebrate with joy. Be glad, smile, and laugh." (vs. 11)

"If the theme of my life is giving and giving some more, I must expand my capacity to receive from God. Otherwise I'll burnout and burn down and become useless to God's Kingdom." (vs. 12, 13)

Leland also recommissioned us as we return to our various missions fields.
  • Do you lay all the challenges and obstacles before the Lord, trusting that he will deal with each of them?
  • Will you ask the Lord to enlarge your vision and capacities to serve within the setting to which you are called?
  • Do you commit to joyfully live the life Jesus offers you to live?
I stated my "I do" and "I will" with much sincerity.

Can you see me? I'm in the middle in the back.

My room-mate, Melissa, and I enjoyed a challenging 7-hour, 11-mile hike at Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge.


Anonymous said...

Hey Deb,
Thanks for the blog and the pictures. I could see for the first time the faces of your family and, friends and also the RFH missionaries. I pray for them but, have never seen their faces so, thanks a lot. It looks like you have had a good time. But it's also good to be back to the home God has sent you isn't it? Only people who have been called by God to go a certain place to serve can understand fully what that is all about. Being retired now for almost 30 years a lot of people I know still don't understand why we do this when there is so many fun things to be doing. But nothing satisfies the soul more that serving Christ. So, thanks for sharing those pictures with me and also the way that God has taken you back to the home that God has given you to live in. -Jim D.

caryjo said...

I've been in Minnesota many times! Can't do it now, b/c of my brain and body, but Dave was born in the Twin Cities area and we've been there, and up to the Superior Lake area and to the west to visit a long-time friend of mine. So, been around and about. Good to see you going around. Blessings...