It is a hard thing to describe. It is a beautiful thing to experience. Standing in the midst of a global conference. 244 people from 76 countries. Most speak English. For many, it is their 2nd or 3rd or 4th language.
In one corner is the Spanish table, the translator quietly speaking his translation. A few feet away is the French table, listening intently to their translator. Over there is the Arabic table and farther along is the Russian table. Along the wall is the large East Asian language group.
The worship team starts to play. We unite our voices in praising the One who brought us all together. We all have a similar story. We all have been redeemed. We all have been given new life. We all have been called to help tell the grandest news ever. The language of forgiveness and adoration is universal.
Speakers share best practices. Videos and stories tell of churches multiplying themselves to 4th and 5th generations. We share strategies and tools and ideas. We share encouragement. We spend time in small groups discussing how to apply the ideas in our local situations.
We bathe the time in prayer. Early each morning some pray for hard areas of the world, asking God for breakthroughs. A prayer team is praying throughout the day. Small groups commit plans for the future to the Lord. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” [Psalms 127:1]
One leader wrote, “I want to thank you for the holy time we spent together in Thailand.”
All 244 leaders returned home with renewed vision and tested best practices to help plant multiplying churches. 46 countries have turned in plans to train 22,536 leaders who will each plant a church in 2014.
Serving as emcee. Speaking in the main sessions. Interviewing conferees. Documenting amazing stories. Helping administratively. It takes terrific teamwork to host a conference and we are part of a terrific team.
Here are some photos. Click to see larger versions.