OCALA–Those attending the recent Global Missions Conference in Ocala got to learn about 16 organizations working throughout the world and how they might partner with them to further the kingdom of Christ.
Think globally, like Wycliffe Bible Translators, who is currently working on 2,600 various translations of the Bible, or International Ministries of Hope, whose mission is to bring hope to the people of La Gonave, Haiti.
Think locally like Interfaith Emergency Services which ministers to the area’s homeless, and ITEC, Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center, which develops unique tools and training systems that help indigenous Christ followers meet the needs of their people as a door opener for the gospel.
The conference was held at First Baptist Church of Ocala, with each mission organization setting up a table/booth in the fellowship center. Attendees, organizers and participants gathered for the opening, which included music and prayer time.
The goal of the conference was to create a venue for local individuals and churches to engage with different mission agencies and through that exposure engage with those agencies in Great Commission work locally, nationally, and internationally, said Bruce LePoint, pastor for Global Disciplemaking at First, Ocala.
“Whether serving people locally, whether it’s church planting internationally, it doesn’t matter what it is that we’re doing. God has called us all to one grand purpose – and that’s Matthew 28 and that is to make disciples of all nations,” LePoint said during the opening session.
Next, attendees got to choose three individual breakout sessions with the various organizations before lunch and three more sessions after lunch. The 30-minute sessions allowed presenters to share about their mission and how others might be involved.
Joy Zedler, executive director of The Pearl Project, was able to share her passion for helping vulnerable children and the families who foster and adopt them through Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). The training gave her and her husband the needed tools to parent their adopted children who had a history of trauma. They now share this with other parents through support groups, training and more offered through The Pearl Project.
“I loved how the conference highlighted both local and international ministries with the purpose of getting people involved in important work,” Zedler said. “I believe it was effective in offering exposure about The Pearl Project. We even recruited some volunteers to help our ministry by using their unique gifts.”
Mason Martin, field coordinator for Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, shared about the Bible translation work that is being done to reach people throughout the world.
“What a blessing to get to participate in encouraging the church to partner in the work God is engaged in around the world,” Martin said. “I believe the connections made at events like this one truly will lead to the completion of the Great Commission (Matt 28:19).”
LePoint said the church plans to hold a missions conference again in January 2021 and make it an annual event after that.