Monday, 23 June 2014

Spring Conference

From 30th April until 4th June Josiah Venture had our Spring Conference. Josiah Venture has two big conferences every year – “Fall Conference” in September which is a training and equipping conference and “Spring Conference”. Spring conference is a family conference for our second culture missionaries – people who serve in a culture that is not where they were born.

This was my very first Spring Conference, which a lot of people questioned. It seems it’s not just me that felt like I’d been here a lot longer than the ten months I had been until that point.

If you had asked me honestly how I was feeling headed into conference I would have replied that I was excited… but also nervous. One of the things I love most about JV is our community and how it feels like a big family. But it is a big family – I think Spring Conference had 250 adults and children at it! And so I was nervous about feeling overwhelmed or, you know, if I had the right, cool enough, backpack. It felt like it was my first day at a new school.

But, I really shouldn’t have worried. It feels weird to say I felt welcomed into the JV family because I’d already been to Fall Conference, the Academy and the Ladies’ Retreat and met most of the people… but there was something about being at Spring Conference that really made me feel part of JV. It was my final first in the yearly JV calendar.

I am so grateful for the people, the family, I serve with and alongside. One of the core values of Josiah Venture is “dynamic community” and it is so wonderful to live that out. We celebrate each other’s strengths and show grace in weaknesses. Over cake and in late night conversations we laugh and listen. Even though we’re from different cultures and countries we all know what it means to be far from loved ones and learning languages and cultures.

Our speaker for the week was Bryan Chapell, who flew over from America with his wife. The theme was Relentless, and it was all about how the grace of God is the relentless theme of the Bible. It is grace that gives us hope for whatever we are facing. And everything we say and do should be centred on grace.

It was such a refreshing week – to be reminded of God’s incredible grace in the midst of a community that show such grace.

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