Traveling To and Fro
This past week we spent the week traveling to Brevard, NC to attend the Living in Grace Conference put on by the spiritual life department at MTW. I have quite a few family members along the way and Michael and I were able to visit with almost all of them. Before and after the conference we stayed with my grandmother in Asheville, NC who lives next to my aunt and uncle. We enjoyed the opportunity to visit with them and Michael even tried out the new Tiger Woods Golf game! On the Sunday after the conference Michael and I were asked to speak at the church where my grandmother plays the piano, Faith Fellowship. The church is part of an assisted living community and has two services, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. We were excited to share with the church about our ministry in Japan and enjoyed worshipping with them.
As we are approaching the field more quickly we are grateful for all the time we have with family. It was a blessing to see so many of my family and for Michael to continue building relationships with them as well.
Living in Grace…the Conference
It is hard to describe the experience we had, but I will do my best to update you on the LiG conference.
First, you must realize Ridge Haven is situated within the beautiful mountains of western NC. Every day and night we heard nature’s chorus all around us. One afternoon during a break Michael and I hiked to a waterfall on the camp property and after taking the scenic route, aka getting lost, we decided to play in the lake for an hour. We finally got the hang of riding the water bikes, but it was a great picture to watch my 6′ 4″ husband try to balance his weight on the bike. We certainly laughed with, or at, him as he fell off many times, but in truth I wasn’t much better!
Free time was pretty scarce during the week, but neither of us would have changed the schedule of the conference. All week we sat under the teaching of Dr. Kooistra and learned more about, well GRACE. Topics such as idols, repentence, forgiveness, the love of God, humility, prayer, worship, etc were touched upon. The most helpful part of the conference were the small group break outs and the personal application times. This was not a conference where attendees were supposed to come and gather nuggets of inspiration and then go home with new information. Instead it was a conference where as individuals and as couples you were challenged to wrestle with the material you were hearing and actually start APPLYING the material to your own life immediately. The week was instrumental for both Michael and I and even after having been home we are still reviewing the material.
The conference provided the opportunity for Michael and I to spend a great deal of time together. This was an unexpected blessing after such a hectic Spring. We are so grateful to be serving with a missions organization that really emphasizes the spiritual life of their missionaries. It is easy to work too many hours and feel burdened/pressure in ministry and MTW really tries to equip its missionaries with the truth of the Gospel as they head to the field. Another blessing was being around other people who are experiencing the same circumstances as we are. Sometimes it is lonely living in two different worlds, the intinerating world and home. To share in the challenges itineration brings with those around us was refreshing!
We appreciate everyones prayers during this week and again thank you for your partnership!!!
These are the LiG participants going to Japan with Bruce Young (far left)