I am so humbled to have had the privilege of being able to attend this conference of spiritual leaders in our MB family from so many different countries and cultures around the world. I was encouraged by all the testimonies of the power of our God and how he is transforming lives around the world!
On Saturday morning, Randy Friesen said, “What is fruitful is being filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit…living a life of worship.” We heard so many stories of what happens when people do follow the Spirit with their everything. Like the story of a couple of men in the Sahara desert who would be killed if anyone reported that they were Christian. They listened to the Spirit despite the obvious threat of martyrdom, and, as a result, the leader of the people living there found Christ and became a church leader! God works when we act on what we hear. And that is just one of many stories we heard throughout the week calling us to greater faith.
The collective worship times were also incredibly beautiful, some of my favourite moments during this conference. As we worshipped, certain languages were highlighted: we were led in worship in English, Thai, Spanish, and French. I don’t take for granted the beautiful privilege of hearing and worshipping with people from such a variety of cultures. I was particularly inspired to greater depths of worship by the instruments our African friends were shaking; the “amens” and “hallelujahs” shouted throughout worship times and sessions; the heartfelt worship and dance shared by Khmu people, Lao, Congolese people and others; and the freedom of movement during worship that grew more and more obvious and widespread throughout the week.
I was interested to observe the meshing of more physically reserved cultures (such as North American and European) and cultures that love to move and to dance spontaneously. It was extremely encouraging to see that we as the family of Mennonite Brethren can have grace for each other in this area and move past opportunities for judgment or awkwardness.
It was also a beautiful thing to see older and younger missional leaders interact throughout this multigenerational consultation. We have so much to learn from and through each other. This intentional raising up and mentoring of younger generations is so important in this family in Christ.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see the heart of MB values, to hear real life struggles and success stories, and to experience the diversity of the MB family firsthand. Thank you!
—Katie Vogt is a member of Cariboo Bethel Church, Williams Lake, B.C. She is participating in MB Mission’s newly launch Discipleship on Mission program.