Jan 22, 2009

The World Missions Summit 2

What happens when missionaries and college students meet with God for a 3-day get together? New missionaries are raised up! That’s what happened at the second World Missions Summit held at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio from December 30 – January 1. About 4,000 missionaries and Chi Alpha university students gathered to hear about missions needs around the world and to respond to God’s call to go. Bill and Carol Paris, Joyce Kitano, and I represented Japan.

In the Gatherings, the main speakers challenged students to “go for a year and pray about a lifetime.” Crystal Martin, national Chi Alpha staff, challenged students to overcome the roadblocks that prevent them from answering God’s call to go. In the next gathering that day, U.S. Missions Director Zollie Smith told the students, “It’s up to you to do something.” The next night, Dick Brogden, missionary to an African nation, challenged students to make the necessary sacrifices to go to the “inconvenient lost.” Scott Martin, national Chi Alpha staff, called students to come forward and announce where God is calling them. About 830 signed cards for overseas missions and about 200 more signed for U.S. based missions. The last night John Bueno spoke and then a national church leader in a closed country followed him. He talked about what is required to be Jesus’ disciple: consecration, commitment, and crucifixion. He told about being imprisoned.

We missionaries personally interacted with students in practical venues. During four meal times called Meal with a Missionary, we sat with groups of 8-10 students and got to know each other as we shared our stories. Also, the different AGWM regions set up Experience Rooms and Booths. Students could hear, see, touch, and even smell what different cultures are like in the experience rooms. (The Eurasia region featured a raw meat odor.). A sumo ring beckoned students do don wrestling suits and wrestle before entering our Asia Pacific Experience Room. They entered by taking off their shoes and sat on the tatami-looking mats. During this time, we Asia Pacific missionaries presented the different areas of ministry throughout our region--church planting, children, compassion ministries, campus ministry, and teaching opportunities. Although the presentation did not list countries, several students specifically asked about opportunities in Japan. In the AP booth area, we sat and talked with students about ministry in Asia Pacific. The AP office is in the midst of following up on 1,000+ students who expressed interest in coming to Asia Pacific.