By Dave Dawson, Bethel Church, Richland, WA
We all enjoy watching our children as they explore the world, learn how it works and then respond to it in wide-eyed wonder. As fun as that is to watch, it is even more remarkable when adults learn about the world and respond like children in open mouth astonishment. Many of the people here at Bethel Church have responded to Mission ConneXion Northwest (MCNW) in this way.
Our church is located in the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington. Our people are busy and hard working and it is easy to fall into life as if our small part of the world is the world. MCNW’s speakers bring the life of the peoples around the world into a new reality for us. Last year, one of the keynote speakers painted a picture of the life of ordinary Muslims that went far beyond the sound bites that we normally get through the media. His words inspired us to bring the Bridges Conference to the Tri-Cities, to open the eyes of other believers about how we can reach out to the Muslim people God has brought to our own community.
Another couple was praying earnestly about a business as mission ministry in China. They went to a workshop led by a man who has given his life to this very endeavor. This couple connected deeply with him and they are now in China putting into practice what they learned from him.
The challenge of keynote speakers, the information given in the workshops and the dynamic Spirit filled worship all weave together to impact our people not just to engage Christ’s mission but to worship the mission giver, Christ Himself. It is easy to see the Lord through a single monocultural lens. MCNW always introduces a new lens that brings Christ back into living color.
This year I am looking forward to MCNW for another opportunity for our people to see a bigger world, a greater God and take on more incredible challenges. I write this testimony in hopes that you will challenge the right from your church to attend and join in MCNW. I also hope that we all respond in childlike wonder and obedience to Christ and His global mission.
**Editorial Note: Bethel Church will be conducting the Mobilizing Your Church for Missions workshop track at Mission ConneXion Northwest, this January 16-17.
Multi-site and outreach director, Bethel Church