The reflection below was written by Rev. Dr. Kevin A. Walden, associate general secretary for Congregational and Pastoral Effectiveness with the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary, about the World Mission Conference which took place July 4-7, 2018 in Green Lake, Wis.
“Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
(Luke 14:34–35 NRSV)
Like many adults these days, we are often encouraged to avoid salt. Some restaurants have even stopped putting saltshakers on their tables. At the World Mission Conference held at Green Lake Conference Center this July, the focus was on adding salt. In fact, Rev. Sharon Koh, International Ministries Executive director and CEO told participants that the testimonies of God’s work in our lives should be such that we actually add to the saltiness of each other.
Dr. Pat Hernandez, Associate General Secretary for Women in Ministry reflected saying, “One grain of salt does not a seasoning make, but many grains season much. Coming together for the World Mission Conference, we season and strengthen each other and make a difference in the world.”
One of the highlights of the Conference testimonies was by Dr. Laura Parajón and David Parajón her son. The Parajón’s serve in Nicaragua. “Davey” stole the show with his testimony and commitment to making a difference in rural Nicaragua. The depth of humility shown by the whole Parajón family is inspiring. Rev. Marsha Scipio, Associate General Secretary for Missional Initiatives and Partnerships, reflected: It was truly a privilege to be in the midst of missionaries who are living out our mission, “serving as the hands and feet of Christ.” I am inspired by their tenacity and their abiding love for Christ.
Another of the many superior highlights was the testimony time of Philip and Corenne Smith who serve in Brazil. Not only is their HOPE ministry impressive, but they brought one of their adult staff members who had previously been a child in the ministry. She shared about her family situation and what brought her to the ministry in the beginning. There was not a dry eye in worship as she shared. Her testimony was truly one of HOPE lived out. These testimonies were just two of many that were shared. I AM … IM. Each testimony built up the body of Christ gathered as we could see the Lord moving powerfully all over the world. Truly, each testimony added salt to our own saltiness.
The conference had powerful bible studies, workshops and worship. There was even a golf outing to raise funds for IM. Together we are the body of Christ serving as His hands and feet – all over the world. May God be glorified.