By Kathy Ikola
I first attended Mission ConneXion Northwest (MCNW) in 2003. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it reminded me of my YWAM Discipleship Training School days, where the teachers were passionate, honest and challenging. Several things said that weekend at MCNW inspired me to join a group of young people on a short-term mission trip to Uganda in the summer of 2004. That trip prompted another Uganda visit in 2005 and our congregation, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church (Happy Valley), began to partner with fellow believers in Uganda in establishing a Christian school in a Muslim area and to help with church planting.
Through the years, many others from Beautiful Savior have attended MCNW. A few years ago, some of the youth attended workshops on the importance of access to clean water. They came back to the youth group and shared what they learned. Subsequently, as part of their World Vision 30 Hour Famine, they raised over $6000 so that two communities in Africa would have clean and safe water. In fact, MCNW has been instrumental in the lives of our youth. Through that conference, the Lord has led two young men to bring Christ to Guatemala. Several youth have also received information about and partnered with organizations dedicated to ending the sex trafficking problem prevalent in the Portland area.
As a result of the MCNW newsletter that is sent out throughout the year, an ad for the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course caught my eye. After hearing about the course for almost 30 years, I finally signed up. After taking it, I’m now coordinating my first Perspectives course, to begin January 2015 hosted by our church. We even have the privilege of having Bill MacLeod as an instructor at both ends of the course.
Because MCNW offers so much: speakers, workshops, connections with organizations, media, books and a shared sense of purpose, I gladly promote it at Beautiful Savior. As the Communication Secretary, it’s my privilege to let my beloved Kingdom-family know how they can get involved. Mission Connexion is one of the best events I can promote that benefits the world, our local area and our congregation.