April 28, 2015

At Work Already…

By Bill MacLeod

As we move forward with plans for our 2016 Mission ConneXion Northwest event, January 15-16, 2016, we are constantly reminded of just how much God is at work already in the planning process.

Our plenary speakers have all been confirmed (http://missionconnexion.com/#MC2015) and you may wonder how our speakers are chosen – so let me tell you!  A number of us pray. We also ask trusted friends for suggestions.  Then, God begins to work.    Here’s how God directed us to two of our speakers for 2016…

My friend Dr. Ramesh Richard (http://rreach.org) was the closing speaker for our 2015 event. On his way out of the event, he happened to say, “Have you heard Michael Oh?  You need to consider him…”  Within a 24-hour period, two other Steering Team members, on their own, forwarded me a YouTube link…of Michael Oh (http://www.lausanne.org/about/leaders/board/michael-oh-ceo).  The final straw was when I asked our good friend, and Steering Team member, Dr. David Bennett (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/david-bennett/17/153/1a7), if he knew a “Michael Oh”, and he replied, “Ah yes, I kind of know him…he’s my boss at The Lausanne Movement!” That’s when you get the distinct impression the Lord may be up to something!  So, we reached out to Michael – a Korean American who spent 10 years church-planting in Japan before coming on as CEO at The Lausanne Movement – and he accepted our invitation!

A few years ago I was privileged to meet Bob Goff (http://bobgoff.com), after having read his amazing, autobiographical book, Love Does.  My church Justice and Missions Pastor, Mike McDonald (hearthecry.org), introduced us and in the process we talked about Bob’s possibly speaking sometime at Mission ConneXion Northwest.  The next day I received a personal email from Bob which he wrote as he sped across the country on an east-bound flight, expressing again, his interest in coming – and that never happens! However, the timing was just not right, as we already had speakers lined up for the next year etc.  Then, this past spring, as Mike and Bob were on a trip to Iraq – Mike casually asked: “So Bob, are you coming to speak at Mission ConneXion this year?”  Bob said, “Should I?”  And Mike replied, “Of course!” So Bob said “OK, I’ll do it then!”

A lot of prayer, planning and hard work by so many people goes into a Mission ConneXion event. We do not believe any of this is “by coincidence” and we’re excited about just how things turn out.  We all know that it is simply [the power of] God at work already!

What about you?  Are you seeing the power of God at work already in the broad brush strokes on the canvas of your life?  I hope so!  Is God also calling you to play a part in the work of Mission ConneXion?  I hope so!  

Here are two ways you can help:

  • Join us at our monthly Steering Team meeting – every 3rd Thursday, at 9:00am at City Bible Church atop Rocky Butte in Portland (9200 NE Fremont St. Portland, OR 97220) – Next: May 21st!

We thank God for directing us to some outstanding plenary speakers for our Jan 15-16, 2016 event. In addition to Michael Oh and Bob Goff, we look forward to also hearing from Dr. Leroy Barber, Global Executive Director of Word Made Flesh (http://wordmadeflesh.org/about/global-executive-director); Steve Hawthorne, Founder/Director of Waymakers, and Co-Editor of the Perspectives’ Course (http://waymakers.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/HawthornePSPStoryofHisGlory.pdf); and Steve Moore, outgoing President of MissioNexus (http://missionexus.org/meet-our-staff). Please pray for these speakers as you remember us too! Thank you!

Bob Goff, Mission Connexion michael oh (1)