This is the first year that we have done Mission Fest. I did it at the encouragement of our board of directors for our ministry Women Refreshed at the Well www.womenrefreshed.com
They actually encouraged me for last year, but I already had bookings for that weekend. So it was, after talking to my sweet friend Meggie, I decided to see if I could still sign up. This was in November. As I was so late I was not sure I would even get a table. BUT I did.
I went to work with Regehr's Printing www.regehrs.com and Dave designed a beautiful banner and a table cloth. I got it on Thursday, and put together a few things for the table, and on Friday my daughter and granddaughter picked me up and off we went. First stop STARBUCKS (lol) and then second stop was freshcutdowntown.com for a beautiful arrangement for our table (designed by Melanie Bernadsky herself - go and buy from them!!) and then we made it to Church of the Rock to set up.
|Matilda gets to spend a little time with Mommy's iPad|
|Our table - new banner and table cloth, and flowers by FreshCut Downton, Melanie!!|
Matilda loved the wide open space :)
Mission Fest began with the prayer time in the afternoon for exhibitors. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had promoted Mission Fest during the years of being a pastor, but sorry to say, I had never attended myself, just got the feedback from others (and always wanted to go next year!)
Oh my goodness. Only God knew what He was going to do in me over the course of that weekend.
I met people that I hope will be a part of my life in the future (thanks Nichole, I already feel like you are a friend). I got to work side by side with my daughter Ashley (I am so thankful for her that weekend, as I was pushed out of my element lol) I got to see other ministries, to renew friendships, not to mention being interviewed by Amy Davey from chvnradio.com live at 6 pm.
Going on air live made me a little nervous. I texted my kids and Alvin and asked them to pray. Leah mentioned that Everett had also prayed for Granny. Later when the kids showed up with the boys, I said thank you to Everett for praying for me, with eyes big as saucers he said "Granny, how did you know that!!"
The days were long - we left both nights after 10. Mornings came early. But my heart - O MY HEART!! I don't think I could count the number of times, I was near tears, or perhaps shedding them. The speakers were good - but a couple really moved me. Pastor P.G. Vargis was one of them.
The other one was Danny MacKay from iamsecond.com
|God puts new friends into our family of God! It was great to finally meet Danny and his wife Naomi.|
Danny, my daughter Ashley, me and Naomi
I knew that my son had connected with Danny, and that he had a moving testimony and ministry. Josh had asked me to say hi to Danny for him. Little did I know how moved I would be through his testimony and challenge to the youth and "young at heart" that morning. He talked about the "Miracle Question" or a way to move into the life of someone you just meet. "Hey, I believe God answers prayer, how can I pray for you?" "If God could grant a miracle in your life - what would it be?" I think the statistic he came about 98% of North Americans don't share their faith. WHY ? Top two reasons are 1) they don't know how, and too nervous as a result and 2) they don't know what to share (which underlies the reason why we should equip and build disciples to share their faith). Danny said "YOU HAVE A MINISTRY" "If you are a follower of Jesus Christ - You Have A Ministry!" "And, being a follower of Jesus, you have a message - a message of reconciliation." Yes, Church does "come and see" well, but Jesus also says "Go and Tell."
Now I will admit, nothing Danny said was new to me per say. HOWEVER it struck some new cords in me. I know without a doubt, I heard God's call - specific call to ministry, that being Women Refreshed at the Well. We believed so strongly in it, we invested our time (almost night and day) for two years of building, our emotions, our mental health, our physical beings (especially Alvin and the boys while they did the manual build) and our finances. And, to boot, after all that, we made the conscious decision to have our private suite in the basement of the house we own, and built of ministry. (seriously, I am not looking for a pat on the back, but I constantly stand in awe at what my husband has done for this ministry that God called me too first, and then him.) I do not know any other man living or dead that would have done this!! I am so thankful for him - daily.
So I know we are called to ministry, and yet what Danny said, made the call deeper - and fuller.
That afternoon, while the worship leader was speaking/praying she said "I pray life over all our ministries." That was when I felt it - I took my journal and here is what I wrote: "Worship leader - speaking/praying "life" over all our ministries - this very tangible warm "sparkling" zing in my body - O LORD, YOU are up to something !! LORD - I stand in awe/waiting/expecting!! This life you've given me - takes may breath away!"
The rest of Mission Fest was great - we connected with people. Sunday morning I made my way there alone, to be there to man the table (or is it woman the table lol) during COTR two services. Someone came up to me - she was very quiet - and her son was alongside. We talked, she entered the draw. Then God did it ... "Joy offer her a retreat - no strings attached - free/no charge." God does this, actually has done this a few times where I know I have to offer it. She shared a bit about her life - single parent, two jobs, two sons. Never once did she say it in a complaining voice. She shared how she really would love to come. I looked at her and made the offer God urged me to give.
Our eyes locked, and hers filled up with tears. Nothing exchanged but I knew it was a holy moment that was truly God ordained. (one of many that weekend). I asked her if I could pray for her - we hugged and I prayed, while my voice was close to her ear. God gave me the words through my tears."
God at work - God on the move. Oh my, He continues to do more than I could ever imagine! I realize that a few things have happened since the new year, one of the things being that I keep asking Him "Please LORD I want more of you - please - MORE" and He continues to show me that all He wants is a willing heart!!
I am thankful that God continues to take my breath away. I don't think I have ever been in a more exciting and wonderful time of life, with my husband and family praying/loving/supporting and feeling like we only see the tip of something that is much bigger!! ONLY. GOD. That continues to be my mantra. ONLY GOD!!
Mission Fest 2015 - you did me in!! I can hardly wait for next year too!!