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So, How'd It Go? The West Coast Missions Conference in Review

In January we attempted something new: a small, yet powerful regional missions conference in Southern California. In conjunction with Redeemer Presbyterian Church San Diego, we co-sponsored the first-ever MTW West Coast Missions Conference. We wanted to bring together missions-minded believers in the Southwestern U.S. for the purpose of mobilizing both individuals and churches for global missions.


Initial feedback
While it's too soon to assess how God used the conference to call more laborers to the field, we keep hearing stories of many who were inspired and challenged, and returned to their churches with a renewed vigor for missions. "Several people I've spoken to have a renewed call for mission work," said Hunter Benson, missions director at Redeemer San Diego where the conference was held. "In fact, at our church, we've had several people say that they wouldn't have thought about going to other countries to serve, but now they are thinking about it after speaking with the missionaries."

We were particularly encouraged by the sheer number of attendees. Organizers estimated we might have 250-300 participants. At the end of the day, we topped off at 425, including 50 missionaries and over 40 college students—a huge encouragement. It was also our most diverse conference ever.

A call to "Join the Story"
The theme of the conference was "Join the Story," an active call for people to participate in God's story of redeeming the lost. Plenary speakers Dr. Steven Um, pastor of Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston and member of The Gospel Coalition Council, and Dr. Lloyd Kim, MTW coordinator and former missionary, addressed the conference on the critical importance of missions.

Popular breakout sessions included Shannon Johnston's seminar on the Church, art, and culture, Carrie Jussely's presentation on human trafficking in Cambodia, and Japanese national church-planter Seima Aoyagi's session on God's work in Tokyo. When Seima reminded the audience that the time for Americans to go to the mission field has not passed but still applies today, he proclaimed, "Please keep sending missionaries! We need you!"

One conference participant summed up the conference this way: "I think it gave us loads of resources—from MTW, missionaries, and other missions-minded groups—and expanded our vision to think beyond just what takes up our lives …. I would love to see Redeemer expand its role to be a catalyst in San Diego for the kingdom work in giving, praying, and sending missionaries!"

A charge from the coordinator
The conference ended with a passionate message from Lloyd Kim, urging us toward compassion and challenging us to join God's story. You can watch it on MTW's Vimeo page.

Interested in talking with someone about going to the field? We have opportunities for those interested in serving for a week, a month, a year, and longer-term. Let's start a conversation. Email us at [email protected].

News Feb 16, 2015
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