For example, when I arrived at our recent Muslim ConneXion event, I expected to see some familiar faces and looked forward to making some new friends. One of the last things I expected was to be greeted by a host of students from Indonesia – the country with the largest Muslim population in the world!
I soon learned that these wonderful, joyful students were from Corban University in Salem, which has a sister-school partnership with a Christian college in Indonesia.
These students would not have come to the Pacific Northwest if Corban had not entered into this intentional relationship with their university. These students would not have been at Muslim ConneXion had it not been for Dr. Paul Johnson, Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies; the student body president; and other Corban students.
In fact, we said if they could mobilize at least 20 students, we would reduce the price for each one down to half, but if they had 19, they’d still have to pay the full price. Additionally, Dr. Johnson wrote to me at the beginning of the week and said: “All of the students in our Missional Living classes (280 total) have been offered five extra credit points if they attend the Muslim ConneXion this weekend. I am also encouraging our intercultural studies and Bible translation majors and we are emailing and encouraging all ministry majors as well.” Due to these creative efforts, 26 students came!
Well, that got the ball rolling. Soon other schools, like Cornerstone School of Ministry in Corvallis also wanted to get in on the unique training opportunity, led by Jayson Georges, author of the 3D Gospel, Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures.
Then a Chinese-American and his team from Brush Prairie Baptist Church in Vancouver offered to provide the Saturday lunch to minimize our expenses for the event – and it turned out to be one of the largest number of meals they had ever had to prepare!
When I looked at these Indonesian students from Corban University and this Chinese-American supporter of our work, I realized again that missions today is no longer done only by people from North America or Europe. God is clearly leading believers from around the world to be involved in missions.
Some of these believers work in countries where missionaries cannot enter. Others travel to countries where they have distinct advantages in cross-cultural communication and outreach. Some have even left their home countries to do missionary work in ethnic and urban communities here in the U.S. And some remain in the countries where they were born, where they now work as key partners with missionaries who come from other countries.
Around the world and here in the Pacific Northwest, God is weaving a beautiful tapestry of missionary activity involving believers from every tribe, nation and community.
That’s what I saw when I walked into our Muslim ConneXion event.
Now, I’m looking forward to what may await me as I walk through the doors of our next event: Prayer ConneXion, on May 13-14!
Plan to register today and we’ll walk in together!