It was more than just a weekend conference (May 1st thru 3rd of 2003), but an on-going mission to be fired up more on getting equip on reaching the 1st and 2nd generation immigrants in our country. I was personally challenged, motivated, faith builded, vision directed (how to reach the "nations" in our backyard), and informed in what God has, is, and will continue the "team" ministry He has called me to in Morris-St. Paul-uttermost parts of the world!
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." -Acts 1:8
It was a good day to start the first of three as it was the "National Day of Prayer" today. Here was the line-up:
-Rev. Rob Bartlett of Living Waters International in Tempe, AZ who started with prayer
-Maria Soto (Puerto Rican)of Minneapolis, MN gave a solo performance during a special offering
Plenary Session 1: Opening Service -Dr. Aida Besancon Spencer "Communicating Cross-Culturally-Jesus' Example" using 5 points of agreement (on reaching out to a person of a different ethnic background) out of John 4 "Samaritan Women":
1) find something in common (eg.thirsty for living water)
2) challenge one another: seeker and sought (asking questions)
3) truth (solution to personal past-5 husbands)
4) offer "Good News" (using living water analogy to life giver to eternity)
5) educate church (shared with disciples)
-Eppic Ministry International from Bloomington, MN performed a dance gospel mime-drama with a message (cross saving from our sins)
-Napoleon Maynard of Iglesia Bautista Betel in St. Paul, MN (will be doing an outreach for Cinco De Mayo)
-Worship Leader: Ann Hinrichs
Plenary Session- Rev. Richard Coleman "Devotional on John 4:35b" of Kingdom Oil. I came late (Filipino Time!), which I was able to receive this part:
5) Must come to grip with their prejudice-bigotry ("all black churches too loud" "white churches too racist") and step out of comfort zone to be with people you "normally" wouldn't hang out with
7) need of "real" leaders
@10:30a-12p Seminar Block A: Rev. Kathleen Macosko, Rev. Philip Friesen, Nancy Okerman on "Ministering to International College and High School Exchange Stdents"
Other related up-coming events:
-May 10th @10a-3p "ISI Training" at Ebenezzar Lutheran Church (on Cedar Ave)
-May 29th-31st at Wheaton College
1] Nancy of Young Life-Amicus: Friend forever-Int'l H.S. Student Exchange ministry shared on the need of Christian host families for high school exchange students coming to America. Some social activities they do are: trips to Valleyfair, State Capitol, camp, etc... She quoted "American kids are friendly, but not friends" (they smile to int'l students, but don't have time to be friends). Lastly, she gave a list of "Heart of the Ministry"
2] Phil, an int'l student campus missionary associated with Galilean Center and with Stadium Village Church at the University of Minneosta. He shared some tips to int'l student ministers about finding an informer/assitant (2by2 discipleship team) who has an eye view of the perspective of int'l students. Also, he reccomends on reading fiction books of ethnic authors to get a better perspective of the ethnic group's background. Handouts: "Advantages of Student Ministry As Mission Strategy", "Stages of Inculturation" (culture shock),"Our Theme: Listening, Learning Praying, Caring Sharing" w/a lists of Bibliography to help get inside another person's framework, Uniquie Characteristics of an Effective International Student Ministry worker, Good Conversations Starters w/iternationals, Witnessing Principles; "Helpful Resources for Ministry to Internationals"
3] Kathleen of Stadium Village shared some encouraging scriptures: Leviticus 19:33 "welcome aliens", Mt ? "I was hungry and you didn't give me anything to eat..." and stats: 17% of int'l students actually come to American homes (eg. some view that every home has a swimming pool) which makes them feel they part of a family, Head of States (Cream of the Crop) Ho Chi Minh (leader of communist N. Vietnam) studied in America and was "reached" by Communists-not Christians, 600,000 international students study in America
@2-3:30p Seminar Block B "Reaching the 2nd and 3rd Ethnic Generations in America" by Rev. Joseph Kong (Cambodian)
I. He shared about needs & expectations and strategies on reaching to ethnic generation 1,1.5,2,3,...based on this category:
Generation 1 "came over"
Generation 1.5 "in the middle"
Generation 2 "left out"
Generation 3 "I want to discover my roots (background)"
II. The Inevitability Flow of Generations [picture]
III. Transformation from a 1st to 2nd generation church (may take 20-40 ears) [graph]
IV. Assimilation Guide for Church Planting
Break: Tour of Booths
Plenary Session 3: Celebration Service
-Rev. Rod Spidahal of Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls is Co-Chair of Ethnic America Summit 2003. He taught us some Cameroon-Me Jobi and Je bama (sp?) meaning "hi" (?) & "welcome" respectively before sharing how he helped get this conference to this area.
-John Mayer of Religion Information Resources in Minneapolis, MN; Co-Chair too, shared some stunning facts/stats (eg. 92% of Twin Cities ethnic population don't know Jesus; including the Handout: City Scope Report of ethnic-immigrants/refugees' churches in the Twin Cities.
-Dr. Moses Neuman of World ? Ministry in Dallas, North Carolina announced the offering before the Lao Evangelical Lutheran Church dancing & singing group "beautifully" performed.
-Mike & Dara Rasavahn of Asian Church of the Open Bible in Des Moines, IA (est. 96' in a city of 30,000 Asians) shared on what God is doing in their homechurch-town
-Rev. Erwin Raphael McManus (El Salvadoran with an Irish/Anglo Step Father and German name) of "Mosaic Church" in Los Angeles, CA gave an impacting,non-traditional, (didn't speak behind pulpit w/microphone, but had a stool in front for his Bible and walked around the stage platform getting every listeners' attention!), and captivating message off Acts 6-7 on the "Mosaic" church. He has a church of 50+ nationalities in the L.A. area. His challenge was "make a friend" of a different ethnic/nationality backgroun-a tool in have a "diverse" church. Also, a "mosaic" church MUST have a "diverse" leadership to reach a "diverse" church body! "love crosses every culture" (his quote). (Read Unstoppable Force. He stated that the term "missions" shouldn't be a term for Christians going over seas because we are all "missionaries". Instead, we his church defines "overseas workers" for anyone going abroad to do mission work. Also, he shared that "you have all what you need (artists, ethnic people, etc..)" instead of churches looking all over for specific people, which they just might be "right in front of you". 82% of his church body are single, which can serve an advantage is getting God's work done compared to married couples with kids. One quote that really sticked to me was "What keeps the church from moving ahead in the future is we hold too much of the past" (not word for word).
We had a morning "wake-up" worship time for people who had a "long night" . Then...
Plenary Session 4
-Reverened Daivd Hicks, on "Devotional of Luke 10:2", who currently is President of Bethany College of Missions in Bloomington, MN. He shared about his background as former CEO President of Operation Mobilization. He worked in a missions ship, where 35 different nationalities were represented. An important fact he shared on world religion was the growth of Islam.
@10:30a-12p Seminar Block A: "Using Sports to reach the lost" by, and "Ethnic/Indigenous Music" by David Innerebner:
Sports: "Bring them from a physical need to a spiritual need" (John 4:7-42, LUke 5:1-11)
Ethnic Music: Meets them culturally where there at, something they can treasure and relate to be proud of (eg. Pow Wows).
more....(so much notes that I'll be adding on as time permits!)