Each summer we attend a conference related to our ministry.
* We meet with the Campus Bible Fellowship missionaries,
* and/or meet with all the North American church planting missionaries,
* or attend the Baptist Mid-Missions annual conference.
This year all three conferences were held together in Ohio.
We were gone eight days.
Nearly 600 attendees lifted their voices together to praise the One we serve.
Most of us are from tiny churches all across the globe.
To be able to sing together in such a large group was great delight.
One can only imagine what it will sound like in heaven
with millions of saints singing with perfect voices.
We were blessed to sit and hear great preaching from the Word.
Our main speaker was Dr. Tilotson,
president of Faith Baptist Bible College in Iowa.
There was plenty to learn in both morning and evening sessions.
Dr. Vernon Rosenau also challenged us to think Biblically.
Between sessions there was much delight in fellowship with other missionaries.
Many of them had not seen each other in four years or longer.
It was a great place to catch up with old friends.
These two ladies serve in Ethiopia;
how blessed we were to visit with them for a few days.
Three conferences were blended into one to mark some
momentous days in the history of Baptist Mid-Missions.
Dr. Gary Anderson retired after 27 years as president of BMM.
We spent one evening honoring him and his wife.
Dr. Anderson's mother was able to express
her own love and respect for him as well.
Another evening was devoted to the installation
of our next president, Vernon Rosenau.
He shared from his heart as we begin this journey together.
He asked Dr. Malipou, a man he led to the Lord in Africa to give the message that night.
Through an interpreter, we heard him encourage us to stay true to the Word of God.
There were workshops in which to learn and be challenged,
and business meetings to attend.
Each year, missionaries who have served the Lord
more than 20 years with BMM are recognized.
Gary and Betty have given 40 years to the Lord in Campus Bible Fellowship.
This dear woman has served the Lord 50 years
among the Native Americans in the USA.
We got to meet the candidates
who are just beginning their first steps as missionaries this month.
Campus Bible Fellowship missionaries don't consider a conference complete until we devote a late night to fellowship at an ice cream shop.
Even if we don't eat, there are lots of smiles, joys to be told,
and sharing our hearts with one another.
Michael spent some time making a new buddy.
I got to meet a student from India.
The week was packed, but finally we had to say our good-byes.
Each year, several saints slip into glory when God calls them Home.
We never know if we will see dear friends again
this side of Heaven when we part ways,
but there is much to do in our mission fields
before we gather the next time for our annual conference.