Cape Town 2010 Begins!

Nearing midnight, I'm back in my room.  I have so many thoughts going on in my mind.  My body needs sleep, my heart needs to share.  I can't get over the feeling - almost magical - about being here at Lausanne. Some of you have heard me teach about the presence of God in the past. His omnipresence (Ps. 139:7), his presence in the believer's life (Eph. 1:13), his presence in the company of saints (Matt. 18:20), his presence in the God-wardly focused Church (Ps. 22:3), his presence in the missional Church (Mt. 28:20). Well, tonight we sang -- more than 4,000 of us, from 200 nations -- "Jesus is here." I just looked around the room.  My heart swelled within me contemplating that truth.  Yes, indeed. He is here.  He will speak.  He will move.  He will do unspeakable and unimaginable things.

Today, from the podium, Doug Birdsall said something like, "May it be that by the time we meet again for the 4th Lausanne Congress, we'll be able to say, 'Now there are no more unreached people groups. Now there are no languages spoken in which there is not a Bible.'"

It is humbling to be here.

Around my table is a church planter from Pakistan, a long-time scholar, journalist and missionary from Norway, a pastor from Burundi, and a woman from Mumbai who has a ministry to sex workers in that city.  Today, we met and shared our names, families, strengths, weaknesses, hopes for the Congress, and prayer requests.  This experience is truly awesome.  I've been in multicultural worship services before.  I've heard others and said myself of such services, "This is a foretaste of heaven." No, no. This is.  You can't even imagine it, friends. There is a sense of the Holy Spirit's presence that moves me to tears even as I write this.  I am convinced that I've never been a part of something more important.

I snap photos and sometimes video and think all the while, I can't really share this.  No one can really get it unless they are here.  Still, I want to plead with all of you not to miss the amazing opportunity that you have to engage the Congress.  Make it your habit to visit very often during the next week. Look at pictures, pray, watch video.

My Today:

Today, was strange for me though.  I woke at 5AM and thought, well I don't have to be at the convention center until about 2PM, so let me sleep more.  Next thing I knew, it was 2PM.  I got ready in minutes and walked as fast as I could to the center.  I arrived sweaty (it's hot today) and frazzled.  So, it was difficult to calm down today.  I was in a mad rush getting back tonight also; I wanted to be able to call back to my church in the U.S. and had forgotten to bring my power adapter for the laptop.  So, there's that. I really don't want to be frazzled.  I want to be open to the Lord.  Please pray for me in this.

Table Leader:

Some of you already know that I was selected to be a table leader for this congress.  It is a great opportunity in my mind.  Yesterday, I spent 6-7 hours in a training for this role.  It will be a demanding job.  I need your prayer.  As I understand it, my responsibility will be to facilitate the discussion around our table, to prayerfully intercede for my table mates, to listen and feedback to the congress leaders what is going on and being said at our table, and to essentially shepherd those at my table -- knowing and helping to meet their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. The Lord has given me a strong willingness to perform these things.  I want to surrender myself and my agenda and my needs in order to serve my group.  Will you pray that God empowers me for this?

Encouraging People:

There are some really great people here.  I've loved mingling and meeting.  I usually don't like that component of a conference.  Maybe it is because I'm kind of arrogant often.  This has been different.  Niove from the Dominican Republic found me today and we had a chance to encourage each other.  Greta from Zimbabwe talked with me for a long time about youth ministry and allowed me to share our struggles with 1.5-2nd generation immigrant youth.  Several church leaders from Nepal blessed me today with warm greetings and a promise to meet together later.  Vijayesh and Knud both encouraged me to continue on with the pursuit of contextualization in cross-cultural mission.  I feel great joy.

Tomorrow Awaits:

So, tomorrow awaits.  God know's what is lying ahead.  Please don't forget to pray for me.  Especially for the rest and energy I need.  As well as for my ability to discern what the Lord is telling me to do moment-by-moment.  I need to sleep now. Blessings!

No comments:

Post a Comment