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Pastoral Leader's Blog

Mission Trip to Serve at Christar Conference in Spain

Pattispain2

Dear Grace Anglican Church,

We (Sam Garrison, Patti Millican, Dave Garmus, Dan Wolf) have been in Spain for a week now and we are finally getting a chance to blog about our experience thus far serving at the Christar Conference in Malaga, Spain. There is so much to share, but we wanted to share with you all five things that God has been up to here during our time here. On the second half of our trip, we will have more time to send updates, so we will unpack some of these more in the next few days.

1. Brent and Kim McHugh (missionaries and members of Grace) are amazing people who are making an incredible impact for the Kingdom.  Brent has now been the International Director for Christar for 3 years now.  Christar has over 400 missionaries that plant churches among the least reached people groups in the world, particularly Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.  So Brent is in charge of equipping and supporting these missionaries to be both faithful and fruitful.  Since this conference was a training for the Christar workers from all over the world (N. Africa, Middle East, Asia, and people working in Europe and North America with refugee and immigrant populations), we got to see Brent and Kim in action as they trained and cast vision for accomplishing the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20).  And they are doing an unbelievable job in this unbelievably important task.  As church members, I invite you to pray for Brent and Kim on a weekly basis, that God would give them continued strength, wisdom, protection, and creativity as they continue this vital work.

2. We have not only served at the conference but also been able to be trained at the conference.  Our role as a team from Grace was to do logistics (airport pickups and dropoffs, laundry, run errands), lead morning worship and devotionals for the missionaries, and do childcare.  We were able to do all this, but also due to the number of children, we were also able to take turns in the training sessions.  Sam and Dave were able to be equipped in how to coach people in ministry.  And Dan (and Patti one day) was able to sit in on the Disciple Making and Church Planting Movement Training.  We all have a sense that God has called us here not only to serve, but to teach us specific things that will apply to our ministry back home.

3. Patti is a "child whisperer."  We only had two children in our childcare.  Two incredibly bright, engaging, and amazing children of missionaries.  Their parents serve in Southeast Asia and their dad was leading the church planting and disciple making training.  We rotated our childcare team but one thing was consistent, Patti Millican is amazingly gifted with children.  She is so creative with crafts and games.  She is engaging in conversations and leading children to Jesus.  She knows how to love on little hearts.  We had a rental van, so in the afternoons we did field trips (to the central park in Malaga, to the interactive music museum, to the Wolf Park in the Mountains, to the Zoo, and we got lots of ice cream).  It was such a special time to invest in these amazing children and let their parents do training and be trained!

4. God has used unlikely people and an unlikely story this week.  A rag-tag team of four from Fleming Island seems like an unlikely source to bring spiritual nourishment to missionaries on the front-lines.  But the Holy Spirit has showed up each morning as Sam, Dan, Patti, and Dave have shared from God's word, led them in prayer and song, and invited them into times of prayer and journaling.  Additionally, we (actually God) decided to work our way through the book of Jonah, which has turned out to be an amazing rich story about calling, disobedience, the storms of life, God's mercy and deliverance, our anger with those we minister to, and the power of forgiveness.  God has been faithful to speak through this unlikely story and through our rag-tag team.

5. God is on the move around the world. We have met and heard the stories of the most incredible people doing incredible work for God's kingdom.  We have heard stories about house churches being planted in Indonesia, locals being equipped to lead churches, God's work along the refugee road, God bringing healing to seekers in the Middle East, immigrant communities in the West hearing the Gospel for the first time, discipleship in North Africa, and the kingdom being furthered even amongst heavy persecution in the Middle East.  We often are so busy in our everyday lives in Florida that we forget that God has a vision for every nation, people, tribe, and tongue.  And God invites us to take part in that exciting work through small ways like prayer, financial support, and learning more about missions.  If you read this post, I invite you to pray for one of the movements that you read about above.  And I want to invite you to the Missions Expo after the 9 AM and 11 AM service on Sunday, Nov 13th to learn a little bit more about what part of the puzzle you could play in God's vision for all nations to come to know Him!

Thanks,

Patti, Sam, Dave, and Dan