Missions Fest (2017) Recap

The three day long annual Missions Conference we attended in Vancouver was an absolute blast. If you haven’t heard of Missions Fest, it’s a worldwide organization that highlights global mission opportunities, showcases over 230 international Christian organizations and ministries, and world class speakers share in over 100 seminars, plenary sessions, and youth rallies. It’s purpose is to inform, celebrate and challenge people of all ages to get involved in missions, and to spread the Good News.

It was truly an amazing experience to work at the Barnabas booth (if only for a short time as there was so much to explore), and share with people my love for the ministry I serve at. Every year I am blown away by how there is such a huge Christian event that brings hundreds and hundreds of people together to grow, learn and connect. God was present there, and everyone knew that full well.

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Below is a brief recap on a few highlights of mine:

I had the privilege of participating in a four hour mini conference on Residential Schools and Truth and Reconciliation. I appreciated the opportunity to listen and learn from Christian Aboriginal speakers who gave us a brief rundown on our shared history, and then charged us as Christians to desire reconciliation with their people. I learned that it is extremely uncommon for Aboriginal peoples to attend a typical church in North America, as they feel unwelcome – even in the year 2017.

They asked us to brainstorm ways to begin the reconciliation process, and RELATIONSHIP was the word that came up the most. We came to the conclusion that the Church must first LEARN the history, repent of past behaviours, (which will hopefully lead to a change in heart attitudes if needed), which will then lead to an open doorway to delicately foster relationships with those in everyday life, such as a simple visit over coffee in a local cafe.

I’m so thankful I attended the mini conference. I think that so many people nowadays are somewhat oblivious and unaware of the settle tension and the hurt between ‘white people’ and Aboriginals, and I definitely belonged in that category before…now it’s simply time to act.

I also attended a session on understanding the Muslim faith, and cultivating friendships, which was interesting for me because I have a close Muslim friend whom I value and love. I learned a bit about YWAMShips based in Kona, Hawaii, and the lady who provided me information prayed for me and direction for my future. There was a booth I loved visiting that was all about sending people to Israel for school, internships, or simply to go and learn for enjoyment. My mom and I dream about travelling there someday! I also visited the Capernwray booth, and was gifted the opportunity to spend a week at their school on Thetis Island for their Taste and See program for free! I’ll get to experience what a year there could be like, and I’m more than thrilled.

One of the evenings I attended the Film Festival with a good friend, and watched She Has a Name, which is a movie created to educate people on human-trafficking. It was extremely eyeopening and powerful. I think everyone should watch it.

Lastly, this is how I would sum up Missions Fest with fewer words 🙂 Enjoy!

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If you attended Missions Fest, what was a highlight for you?

Thank you for reading, friends!

~Sharaya

 

 

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