One of the harder things about working in the northeast (at least for me) is the sense of isolation from the rest of the church that sets in. Sure, there are social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter that help one keep in touch with people and groups, and there are bulletins and newsletter in my mailbox from time to time, newsletters in my email, and blogs in my Google Reader list. These are great tools, but they aren’t replacements for the good that can come from getting your batteries recharged by fellowship with old friends and brethren and being fed spiritually by teachers and preachers you respect, or even from those may never have heard of previously.
Thanks to the generosity of the Hamby Church of Christ in Abilene, we were able to attend this year’s Summit (the event formerly known as the ACU Lectureship). It was a blessing to see people I hadn’t seen in years, some nearly 20 years. I enjoyed hearing how God is working through peoples’ lives–some as missionaries, parents, working with childrens’ homes, ministers, and all sorts of God-work in their corners of the world. It was encouraging to see that so many of our members in the church have a passion for offering a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus in a way we have been neglectful of the past few decades.
The classes I attended were very good. My favorite by far was “What the American Church can Learn from the African Church” by Fred Asari, of Ghana. It was exciting to hear of all God is doing there, and it was a reminder that the old saying that “one day Africa and Central/South America will be sending missionaries here” has already been fulfilled. Ghanaian churches are already sending ministers to evangelize the US. God bless their work! In the last week I’ve heard that Mexico, Guatemala, India and a couple other countries’ churches of Christ are doing the same. I think that’s just exciting. I think the dynamic some of these churches may bring with be a great shot in the arm, and will reach people we haven’t. If/when ACU puts up those lectures, I’ll post a link here.
There’s more I would say, and may in the future, but my daughter is whispering in my ear that it’s time to head to the youth rally in Albany.
God bless and enjoy your weekend,