"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Friday, January 25, 2008

Missionary Conference

A couple of weeks ago our family went to a missionary conference. This is a conference that is held every January in different places. It is designed for missionaries around South America to come and be fed spiritually instead of always feeding and to recharge our batteries to continue to be strong in what we are doing. I had never been to one before and, to be honest, I only went this year because our team was hosting it. It's much too expensive for a family of our size to travel to another part of Brasil to attend one of these. But, this year the conference was only 2 hours away from our city and so it made it easier than ever for us to attend and, like I said, our team hosted it so it would be weird if our family didn't go. We wanted to share this time about the speakers who gave of their time and left their lives in the states for a week, or more, to come and do this. On our next blog we will share some of the goofiness that went on during the week but for now we wanted to share the people who blessed us so much that week.

We had a main speaker who spoke two times a day to the entire group.
His name is John Willis and he has been a Bible professor at different Christian universities for over 50 years. My parents went to the conference as well and one day, during lunch, my dad and Dr. Willis discovered that Dr. Willis taught at the same college my dad attended a few years (cough, cough) back. My dad, however, never had Dr. Willis as a professor. I think that was for the best for both of them. Here is a picture of Dr. Willis, his wife Evelyn and my parents.

The ladies had a special speaker who taught a morning class. Her name is Dottie Schulz. She was a missionary to Amsterdam for many years. She now works at Missions Resource Network (http://www.mrnet.org/). She really blessed not just the women, but all the missionaries that were there. Her mission field is missionary care and she has a real passion for it. We were blessed to have her stay in our home for a couple of days after the conference and she was a real trooper as she had to spend one night on our sofa because of the amount of people we had in our home that night and the different sleeping arrangements that had to take place.
The men had a special speaker who also taught each morning. His name is Murray Wilton. He was born and raised in South Africa and for the last 20 years has lived in the United States. He has a teaching ministry to the business community in Huntsville, Alabama. The Spirit was strongly at work in bringing him to the conference and he was a blessing to those that were there. There is a brother in Christ named Larry Bennett who felt led to come to Brasil with Murray for the conference just to be available to pray and listen and help any missionary who might need it. I know that Murray and Larry blessed my family greatly by being here. God used them in mighty ways here in South America. We were also blessed to have them stay in our home both before and after the conference. Here is a picture of Murray sharing with the men (he's the one in the blue shirt, with arms raised, in front of the white board).
The teenagers also had teachers come from the states as well. For those of you who don't know, the term 'missionary kid' is kind of like a curse word in our house. We know and have seen how our kids are missionaries. They aren't just here because they had to be here. We know that God called them here for His purpose and they are living out His will here in Brasil. So, we were very happy to have some people come from the states and feed them as well. Cory and Christina Jones are youth ministers from Houston, Texas and they came to teach the teenage class. Our kids just loved them as they made the Bible interesting and they had fun with our kids. This is the only picture I have of them. Cory and Christina are on the left side of the photo. The Blume kids made up 60% of the class. We kind of do that sometimes. Our kids were blessed by Cory and Christina.
When the conference was over we had the chance to spend one night with Dottie, Murray and Larry together. My parents graciously offered to keep the kids and we took the 3 out to eat at a Brasilian steakhouse.
It was really good. As I mentioned before, Murray is from South Africa and lamb is a specialty there. He was very happy to find good lamb at the steakhouse we took him to.
We had a great week together and were reminded that God's family is big, and fun and made up of so many different spiritually gifted people who love the Lord and really burn to share the Good News.

1 comment:

Missionary's Missionary said...

Dear Blume family:
Time with you and with your family was very special - a time I will always treasure. I send you my love...Dottie