By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director
As Russian tanks rolled across the Ukrainian border last weekend making their way toward the capital of Kyiv, the world watched in amazement at the resolve of the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and indeed the citizens themselves who took up arms to defend their country. Additionally, not only is Ukraine second in size only to Russia, but it is also the main missionary-sending country for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
As this drama was unfolding almost 6000 miles away, Mission ConneXion’s annual STM ConneXion was taking place in Portland, Oregon helping church leaders focus upon “re-Engaging” short-term missions in 2022.
- Of the roughly 160 who registered, 87 came in person while 73 attended online – the first time both options have ever been offered.
- In-person attendees came from Sweden and Mexico City as well as several states including Arizona, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia among others.
- Online we had people join us from Brazil, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Argentina, Canada, and several other states including California, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina.
One person attended who had reached out to us believing the Lord wanted him to do a Short-Term Mission to Brazil in June. As Mission ConneXion merged last year with Standards of Excellence (SOE) we have many more tools at our disposal, and we were able to introduce him to one of them: www.ShortTermMissions.com Our staff found 21 mission trips to Brazil in June for him to choose from. He came to STM ConneXion and met the individual who had helped him narrow the search down to the ideal trip for him – and he heads to Brazil in June!
Comments from our post-event survey for last weekend included:
- “We are immune compromised so appreciated [the] virtual attendance.”
- “Jeannie Marie was totally outstanding – content-rich, helpful sessions!”
- “This was an excellent workshop, and the topic is so important.”
As the world’s eyes are on Ukraine, may we join believers around the world to intercede and petition the Lord on behalf of these courageous Ukrainians as they defend their land. Many of them are finding great strength in the words of Psalm 35 that begins: “Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me…” and ends with vs. 28: “My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.”
May we continue to have the resolve we see being displayed today by these Ukrainian believers; prepare to go wherever He leads us, and be found faithful to “proclaim His righteousness” at all costs.