Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Travel Report

I have missed you all! Between camp meeting, ministerial convention and general conference I managed to be away long enough to wish I was home. And while my heart is glad to be back with my church family and in my home state, the travel was well worth it. My first stop was ministerial convention in Austin, Texas. For the very first time in history, all fulltime pastors in the North American Division gathered. This was the Called Pastoral Family Convention, and my family was privileged to attend. The goal was to gather to be inspired, valued, connected and equipped for greater faithful service in ministry. My call to ministry was reaffirmed as I brushed up on my core competencies of character, leadership, scholarship, evangelism, worship, people skills and management. Eric took advantage of the opportunity to connect with other pastoral husbands through meetings, shared adventures and a new t-shirt.

After a couple days of vacation we made it to General Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Where the tourism industry estimated 65,000 Adventists to spend 42 million dollars over the eleven days of the convention. Restaurants even brushed up on their vegetarian menu options and offered pre-paid meal tickets to be used during the Sabbath hours. We as Seventh-day Adventist took over both the Alamodome and the Gonzalez Convention Center across the highway. I managed to walk 4-6 miles a day going between meetings, exhibit halls and meals.

Surrounded by the crowds, seeing their country’s clothes, the different customs and languages, I was reminded that we are a world church. That this message is being preached to every language, tongue and people. And a characteristic that marked this gathering was prayer. There were groups of people gather in prayer around tables, a couple people in the middle of the exhibits laying hands on one another in prayer, and even on the walkways people pausing to pray for one another. This living organism that is the Seventh-day Adventist church breathes through prayer.

Coming home to my piece of this worldwide movement I am glad to know that there are others around the world sharing the same God, preaching the same message, moved by the same Holy Spirit. All in an effort that the good news may travel to every corner of the globe!

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