A week in Guadalajara, Mexico

Central Mexico missionary team

By: Ivan Veldhuizen

Susan and I spent last week in Guadalajara with our Central Mexico team: Lynn and Barb Conner, Eric and Janet Johnson and Dan and MeLinda Nelson. Allow me to share a few thoughts from our experience there:

1. I was reminded of the tremendous privilege it is for us to serve our missionaries around the world. I am deeply humbled and greatly honored to serve in this capacity as a servant leader. The quality of missionaries we have scattered around the world is quite clearly God’s doing—the Central Mexico team included. A few descriptors of this team that come to mind are godly, dependent, joyful, prayerful, intentional, wise and connected (to one another). This creates quite an impressive ministry dynamic—one of harmony, synergy, God-encounters, and much laughter.

2. I learn so much every time I'm around our missionaries. I see International Ministries from a completely different perspective than what I can perceive in my Orlando office. I learn about what’s working and what isn't, where we have gaps in our communication and services and how we can hit the “hot spots” of what our missionaries need most. I'm especially grateful for the courageous truth-telling we experience when with all of our missionaries. After all, how can we know the truth unless someone tells us? Thank you!

3. I was affirmed in my desire to see field council meetings prioritize fellowship, worship and prayer rather than be consumed with “business” and spirited discussions. The authentic fellowship this team experiences together is something I wish I could package and send to all of the gatherings around the world. It’s laced with real worship, passionate prayer, belly laughter and encouraging words. The business actually gets done, but within the context of love, grace and the Holy Spirit’s leading.

4. The IM Pathway has been affirmed everywhere we have gone in the world. Our missionaries have consistently said “thank you” for bringing clarity, definition and direction to our mission engagements through Converge Worldwide. We are using the Pathway to guide us in all that we do. Through our gatherings with our missionaries around the world, we have experienced God’s confirmation of this vision and philosophy of ministry.

5. Gathering in the group is great, but meeting with our missionaries individually is completely awesome. Susan and I stayed a couple of extra days to catch time with each of these missionary couples. All I can say is, “Wow.” Susan and I left saying again, “Can you believe that we get to work with people of this caliber?” Seriously, we are so blessed by our missionaries.

As we experienced a fresh glimpse of missionary life and ministry again last week, I am reminded of the tremendous challenge effective missions can be, and usually is. God has called all of us to be wise, strategic, impactful, culturally astute and highly successful in God-honoring ways. This will always require a heart in tune with the Spirit, a readiness to assess and learn and change, an ongoing bond with your fellow ministers of the gospel (no body parts disconnected) and an expectation that God is going to do something great for is glory.

Thank you for who you are and what you're doing in Jesus’ name. God bless you all.

    Point - September 2018

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