MFI Conference: Day 1

Greetings from Reston, Virginia! Along with my Mom and Dad, I have been here for the last couple of days (and will be here until the end of the week)  attending the annual conference for Ministers Fellowship International, an association of pastors and other church leaders with whom my parents are affiliated. Since I attended a Bible college in Oregon affiliated with MFI, there are many familiar faces here, folks I have known for a long time, people who have taught me a tremendous amount of truth from God’s Word. There are people here who have spoken prophetic words over my life, who have visited our church in Haiti, and who have invested deeply of their time and money into me as a person. It is so good to see them.

This year marks a change for MFI, in several ways. Ordinarily, the annual conference is held out in Portland, Oregon, where the fellowship was founded. This year, the organizers split it into East and West Coast gatherings, with the East Coast version being held in the Virginia suburbs of D.C. The conference this year also marks a change in that it is being held at Ekklesia, a Spanish-language congregation, a fact that reflects some important demographic shifts happening in the U.S. My parents and I had the privilege of attending their Sunday morning services and sharing several of their testimonies of God’s miraculous provision and blessing in Haiti. We were blessed by the beauty and liveliness of their worship and by the faith of the believers there. My mom shared a prophetic word from Esther, a story about believing immigrants  in a dark place and time, who were “called to such a time and place as this” for the salvation of many.

 “You thought you were coming here for education or for work,” my Dad added later in his sermon. “The Lord, however, drew you here for his own reasons.”

Tonight, Pastor Frank Damazio from Portland preached from Nehemiah on “staying on the part of the wall to which God has called you.” When asked by his enemies to leave the work of rebuilding Jerusalem for a moment, Nehemiah refused, saying, “I am doing a great work. Why should I come down now?” (Neh. 6:3) Pastor Damazio stressed that every leader in the Kingdom of God should believe with all their heart that the work they are devoting themselves to is not merely an average or an adequate or a second-rate work, but a great work. “Love the place the Lord has put you,” he said. “Believe in the people God has entrusted into your care. Pour your heart and soul into them, and they will do the same in due season.”

I appreciated the reminder, although I already believe with all my heart that no place on the wall could be better than my own. I already miss my classes and our church in Haiti. I am eager to get back home and pour myself with renewed vigor into the best work a man could have, the work of leading God’s people.

 

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