A conference in Houston, Texas where 6,000 students and hundreds of missionaries from all over the world came together for a conference that only happens once every fours years to celebrate God’s will for our lives, worship Him, and catch the vision for missions. There were 5 gatherings, 4 meals with the missionaries, an exhibit hall where missionaries were set up based on location and talked to students casually, experience sessions where missionaries would formally talk about their area, and breakout sessions which focused on specifics (support raising, church planting, etc.).
I came in expectant knowing that the Lord would answer my prayers from the previous post.
- That my heart would be in a posture of worship and that I would be fully present in His presence.
- Every speaker was captivating and it helped that the rest of my team was also serious about missions. Distractions were limited in the urgency of what God had for me this week. He also intervened by limiting my wifi connection on my phone, which was a huge blessing.
- That the Lord would bring me peace towards finalizing missionary summer plans.
- The first day after checking in I dropped off my luggage and went straight for the exhibit hall, which was the only thing open before the first gathering. The large open space was divided by continents/people groups (Africa, Asia Pacific, Live|Dead, Northern Asia, Latin America, Europe, etc). After going to each one, I finally arrived at the Asia Pacific zone. I knew before coming that I felt called to go to Thailand for this summer, but I had yet to find peace in going with the missionary I was currently in contact with, so I held off from committing praying that the Lord would guide me during this conference. I spoke to two missionaries from two different ministries in Thailand before meeting K. As soon as he introduced himself, I started to tear up. And I can only attribute it to the Holy Spirit anointing our conversation because he hadn’t even started to explain his ministry in Thailand. As he continued to talk, I fell deeper in love with the work he was doing. And at the end, he prayed over me and recommended I talk to his wife and director of the ministry he was involved in who were also at the conference and working the Asia Pacific experience session the next day. That’s where I met his wife N and A the director. I felt so blessed by A. The love he has for the people in Thailand was so evident in the way he spoke and I was in awe over the fact that he had been serving for over 30 years. I asked if it would be possible to serve over the summer and he said he’d love for me to come and that a VT team was planning to also come some time this summer. I stood in shock when he mentioned having a relationship with the VT Chi Alpha because a random girl from VT had prayed over me last spring break in Atlanta while I was praying over a homeless man and after praying and talking about how I wanted to serve in Thailand she talked about serving the previous year with VT in Thailand. I didn’t catch the names of the missionaries she worked with at the time nor her name and wished I did. So to meet the people she worked with at the World Mission Summit was confirmation that this is where God wants me to go. Before leaving, he also prayed over me and that same feeling of peace washed over me.
- Discernment and divine appointments when it comes to speaking truth to brothers and sisters.
- God gave me a word to speak to a fellow team member and while it wasn’t the divine appointment I was expecting, I still praise Him for using me.
- A missionary from the Philippines talked about how he traveled to Thailand after breaking his hand and how Thailand has one of the best international hospitals in the world. Bumrungrad International Hospital is ranked number 9 in top 10 hospitals in the world. This was a divine appointment because he was a random missionary that was selected to sit at our table for meals with the missionaries and the topic drifted to a story that took place outside of the area he is mainly serving in to affirm that I could potentially use my nursing degree to serve in Thailand! God, why do you slay me?
- That the Lord would convict me and break my heart for what breaks His.
- The Lord definitely convicted me that I am so quick to try to control things even when He shows He is capable of holding all of my burdens. He also reassured me this trip of my “sonship”. I see God as my best friend, but He revealed to me He also sees me as HIS best friend. My feelings are not one-sided and if anything God loves me more than I could ever love Him. How comforting is that?
- The gatherings broke my heart for the unreached people groups around the world, but also showed me they are in our backyards. I still have 1.5 years left at UVA and I pray that I would use them strategically to build His kingdom here. I ask, “Lord, what is your will for me today?”.
- Safe travels for everyone traveling.
- I made it home safely, but the reason why there are two days added to the date above is because our flight from Houston to Atlanta got delayed so we missed our connecting flight from Atlanta to Dulles. As a result, we had to stay in a church in Atlanta for two nights with no extra clothes, towels, or blankets. We woke up from our shivering and I had to laugh thinking to myself, “This is missions”. And even in the freezing cold, I praised Him for bringing us there to process through the overwhelmingness of the conference. The extra 2 days allowed me to ease back into the day-to-day and spend time with God without all the bright lights, loud music, and great speakers. The church also provided blankets, pillows, and so. much. food for us the second day. We slept in the sanctuary where it was much warmer and again laughed at it all. And if that wasn’t enough, we almost missed our make up flight despite getting to the airport two hours early because we couldn’t access our boarding passes. Thankfully, God made a way and we got through security and to the gate just in time. God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.