Friday, June 20, 2008

Greetings from Memphis

Greetings from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Annual General Assembly in Memphis Tennessee. I’m having such a good time that I missed that Thursday ended yesterday! Sorry about that. I did want to give you an update of what all is happening at this years Assembly. Besides visiting with lots of friends, seminary professors and making new friends, I have been very impressed and challenged by the call to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. I know that challenge is nothing new – Jesus himself commanded us to “Go and make disciples of all nations . . .” But it is always encouraging (and convicting) to hear from people who are doing just that.

Most startling was last night’s speaker, Lauren Bethell. Alyson and I have heard Lauren speak before. She is a gifted speaker. But her talent in the pulpit is eclipsed by her boldness in the world. She works as a human rights advocate who travels the world attempting to rescue children from sexual exploitation and slavery. Her calling takes her into some of the most frightening places in the world. Her stories are a mixture of incredible sadness mixed with the brilliant light of the hope of Christ.

Alyson and I also had the chance to have supper with two CBF missionaries who work with Kurds in Germany, Turkey, and Iraq. Their home base over the last few years has been in Germany. Over 600,000 Kurds now live in Germany. They spoke of the challenges of reaching Middle Eastern people and of the danger that still exists for missionaries working in that part of the world.

I also had time to visit with one of my seminary friends. He was a little ahead of me in school. He and his wife have spent the last five years as a CBF missionary in Indonesia. Three of their four children were born while in Indonesia. I’m constantly impressed by such folks who are willing to put their entire family solely in the hands of God’s care and follow him wherever he leads.

All of these encounters have reminded me of what one speaker said, “When the wind of the Spirit blows, it blows in one direction – out.” How true. God is at work in the world. His Spirit is blowing in the lives of people around the world as they join him in His work of redeeming the world. Where might the Spirit blow you?

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” Matthew 28:19-20.

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