Please join us in welcoming Wade to the blog. Wade has joined us this summer in a new role, Church Partnership Director, and in that capacity he also serves on the EFCCM’s Director Team. We’re pleased to benefit from his warm, welcoming personality, and his passion for international ministry.
My first district conference representing the mission was a special joint conference. The Prairie District and ANACEFC (Association of North American Chinese Evangelical Free Churches) were wonderfully hosted by the South Calgary Chinese Evangelical Free Church (SCCEFC). There are a number of things that make a great conference experience. They are the things you remember after you get home.
Let me share briefly 3 things that made this conference a memorable experience for me – and not in order of importance.
First, we ate great food. And for some reason good food seems to result in good fellowship. I don’t have room to tell you about the wonderful buffet with its delicious salads, curry chicken and prime rib or the great lunch meals, but the dish I remember was the traditional Cantonese village meal.
8 courses, which included beef, pork, chicken, duck, fish and a variety of vegetables had all been cooked separately and then piled one on top of the other in a large bowl and topped off with a ring of shrimp (see picture). And yes, our table failed to meet the challenge as we ate less than one half of the bowl. It was a great cross-cultural experience.
Second, the speakers shared relevant Gospel messages. Long time EFC pastor, David Acree spoke of the “people hinges” in our lives. These are the people who have had a significant impact in our lives by what they have said to us, or shown us by how they have lived. And there are many people that have touched my life in this way, but 3 men came to mind immediately, a pastor and 2 missionaries. When I stopped to reflect on who I have become and where I am today, I realize how God used these men in significant ways to motivate and encourage me to live for and serve Him.
Finally, there were several encouraging church planting reports. Stories of hard work, community involvement, faithful ministry and personal salvation all revealed the goodness of God and the expansion of His kingdom. I could not help but be reminded of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, (1Cor.9:19-23) where he writes, “….I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some”. And we heard that our Lord Jesus is still in the business of saving some and changing lives!
What a privilege it was to be one of the representatives from the EFCCM and to be able to spend time with these great folks. Daryl Porter, Mel Sayer and I all made short presentations to the conference floor. In addition, we all had numerous opportunities to talk with Pastors and delegates about their mission – the EFCCM.