An Unexpected Appointment…
By Bill MacLeod, Director, MissionConnexion
Ten days before our event, our Saturday afternoon Keynote speaker phoned to say his wife was very ill and could we pray? The next day, Robert Levy* emailed me to say he would be unable to come. The crazy thing was that the exact same thing had happened with our keynote speaker in 2023. We prayed.
The pastor of the largest evangelical church in the Middle East in Egypt was also heading our way, accompanied by his wife and two staff members. We had been trying to put together an opportunity for them to share an update with church leaders. Again, we prayed, and realized that the Lord seemed to be arranging for us to keep a divine, unexpected appointment. In the end Pastor Sameh from Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo spoke Saturday afternoon and two other times though none were recorded. *BTW – Robert Levy’s wife recovered soon after our event concluded!
The Asbury University Revival Interview where two students and an administrator from Asbury University shared what they had witnessed when their campus in Wilmore, Kentucky experienced their own “unexpected appointment” last Spring when an “outpouring” unfolded that drew thousands from around the world wanting to “see for themselves”. About 350 people attended this session, which was also unexpected. If you missed it, you may listen to the audio recording here.
Cold, snow, freezing weather, and massive power outages throughout the region could not stop our “To Every Generation and Nation!” 23rd annual MissionConnexion Northwest conference, January 19-20 warmly hosted by Sunset Church for the second year in a row – and we continued to witness ‘unexpected appointments’ throughout the weekend …
Those attending in person shared these unexpected experiences…
- As a midwife, doula, and mom, I was really excited to see 3 ministries who focus on vulnerable women and their little sprouts! I am excited to be more involved, as I’m able.
- The event gave me focus on how to reach out to my hurting friend and inspiration to keep persevering when it feels hopeless. The coaching workshop was incredibly helpful and taught me some great tools.
- The Ashbury Luncheon had an impact on me, how the revival happened and impacted a lot of students who are now sending teams out sharing how it has impacted their lives and the lives of their families.
- I am a retired missionary from Japan. I was able to talk with a couple who are going to Japan with my mission agency. It was great to talk with them about what they will encounter on the field.
- I appreciated all the pastor from Egypt shared and I am intrigued by their interest in doing a MissionConnexion there.
- I loved the physical call to action at the last session. We stood up and walked to the front when asked what our roles were. The pray-ers were encouraged to pray over the go-ers standing right next to them.
Attendees participating in person and online also had some planned and unexpected encounters…
- 1,445 attendees came in person from a variety of backgrounds and locations…
- Churches: over 325 were represented and local Chinese Churches provided 30% of the Volunteers,
- Individuals: 36% attended for the first time!
- 35 States: Attendees from over half of the USA were represented in person including, in descending order: OR, WA, CA, TX, NV, AZ, CO, GA, IL, MI, AK, MN, TN, ID, KY, MO, IN, AL, FL, MT, NE, NJ, PA, VA, AR, HI, NC, RI, SC, WV. Additionally, these plus people from another 5 States watched online: OH, IN, CT, MD, and NY.
- 11 Countries: watched online besides the US, and included: Jamaica, United Kingdom, Egypt, South Africa, Spain, Singapore, Sweden, Brazil, Peru, and Canada.
- 97 Exhibitors: all 97 Exhibitor booths were reserved with no open spots with a good percentage coming for the first time. Check out who was there inside our 2024 program.
- 80 Workshops: nearly 500 on average attended workshops during each of the four sessions with 20 tracks and 80 sessions to choose from.
- Short-Term Mission (STM) Connexion provided a “conference within a conference” for the first time ever instead of its typical stand-alone event in February.
- Middle East Focus: Pastor Sameh Maurice from Kasr el Dobara Church in Cairo, Egypt spoke to Pastors and Church leaders in a session that was not recorded, related to events unfolding in the Middle East, and how MissionConnexion may have a role to fulfill with evangelical churches there.
- Recordings: If you missed any of the Plenary or Workshop Sessions you may access them on our website here
- Gift Match Challenge: generous MissionConnexion donors invested $35,000 toward a principal amount with hopes it could be matched during the January event. We are 84% of the way to reaching our Match Goal so if you would like to donate, you still may online here, or you may send a check to: MissionConnexion Northwest, 1400 NE 136thAvenue, Vancouver, Washington 98684.
- Finally, at the closing invitation of the last session, more people came to the front than remained in their seats signifying their desire to serve as a Learner, Pray-er, Mobilizer, Sender, Welcomer, or Go-er!
Did you have an “unexpected appointment” this year? If so, we would love to hear about it! Write us here.
Thank you for joining us! Please plan, with the LORD’s help, to attend MissionConnexion Northwest, January 17-18, 2025, at a location yet to be determined!
Check out the photos below that capture our Keynote speakers and our Asbury Revival Luncheon.
Also, the closing Invitation had more people coming forward than remaining in their seats!