By Bill MacLeod
Each year, after Mission ConneXion Northwest, I’m exhausted …. and I’m thrilled.
I’m exhausted because it’s a lot of work. Thousands of attendees, 100 workshops, 75 exhibitors, 4 plenary sessions, hundreds of volunteers, registration, food, logistics, speakers, recordings, parking.
Despite the exhaustion, I’m also thrilled because I’ve seen God show up.
This year, more than 3,000 people attended Mission ConneXion Northwest, from throughout Oregon and Washington and as far away as Alaska and Illinois.
After the event, we sent out a survey asking those who came to evaluate our event. More than 600 people (20% of those who attended) have already responded. Of this number:
- 70% indicated they had learned new things about missions.
- Over 50% said they would become more involved in missions.
- At least 15% discovered a mission agency to work with.
- Over 98% said they would recommend this event to a friend.
That translates into:
- Thousands of people who gained new insights into God’s work in missions.
- More than 1,000 people who committed themselves to greater involvement in missions.
- Several hundred people who made personal connections with mission organizations.
- Many churches and lives changed here in our communities and around the world.
Many of the connections made at our event were truly God-inspired and God-ordained.
At the Medical Teams International booth, a woman asked if they had any immediate volunteer openings. They told her “Yes, we need a nurse right now,” “I’m a nurse practitioner,” she responded. “We need a surgical nurse,” they said. “I work in an operating room,” she told them. “Our position is in Uganda,” they told her. “I have friends in Uganda,” she said. This was truly a God connection—one which I know God will use to touch lives in Uganda in the days ahead.
This year, we heard from Voice 4 the Voiceless, a choir made up of students who were moved by a presentation by Remember Nhu at our event last year. This choir is now singing throughout the area to raise awareness of human trafficking—another example of God using Mission ConneXion NW to make a difference—this time in the hearts of students.
It’s the expectant hearts of those who come and God’s grace in connecting people to causes that are important to Him that makes this event so special.
That’s why our exhibitors come back year after year. “There’s an unusual spirit at this event,” they tell me. “So much joy and excitement. And, there are so many young people and young families.”
For those of you who were able to attend our event, we’re glad you could join us.
For those of you who supported us financially, thank you. With your help, we’ve raised more than $24,000 towards the $30,000 matching gift goal we announced at our event. If you have not had a chance to give, you may still do so by clicking here to help us reach our goal.
And, to those of you who prayed with us for God’s blessing, He heard your prayers. Lives were touched. Connections took place. People made commitments to serve. God showed up.
And, that made all the difference.
P.S. If you’re interested in building on the Mission ConneXion Northwest experience, please check out the following events that will take place in the coming months:
- Short-Term Mission ConneXion, Feb.19-20, 2016
- The Journey Deepens ConneXion, April 1-2, 2016
- Prayer ConneXion, May 13-14, 2016
- Care ConneXion Intensive, April 9, 2016
- Muslim ConneXion, March 11-12, 2016