by Christine Platt CEO
A team from GRN made the annual trek up to Katoomba for ReachOut along with about 600 other people. Michael Oh, CEO of the Lausanne Movement, and Richard Chin, National Director of AFES, were the two keynote speakers. They did a great job of encouraging delegates about the need for mission and to challenge them to be involved - go, send or disobey are the options we have. I also appreciated learning more about the Lausanne Movement.
We went to talk to people and encourage them to consider mission on their journey through life, to inform people of the availability of GRN resources to help them communicate the story of Jesus, and to present GRN as an option for missionary service. It was a real joy to hear people's stories and about how God is working in their lives. The constant stream of people interviewed from the stage was also a great source of encouragement.
We had a great time. We heard stories from many people who have used GRN recordings in their ministry. We talked to many people where it became apparent that GRN materials or the 5fish app could be a big help in their work. It was wonderful to hear about the many and varied ways people are taking the good news of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
ReachOut has several traditions: a Reps retreat, a Saturday night 'alter call' and the funding of a chosen project from the collection taken on Saturday night.
The Reps retreat happens the two days beforehand. It's an opportunity for mission personnel to get to know their colleagues from other agencies, to meet the speakers and prepare for the weekend. This year didn't disappoint as we talked, prayed, filled show bags and set up chairs together.
Saturday night culminates in an 'altar call' where delegates are challenged to commit themselves to missionary service. This year saw so many delegates respond to a challenge to commit to at least one year of service that reps found themselves counselling 3 or 4 delegates each. Please pray for those who responded as they consider what shape their service might take.
The project chosen this year was GRN Thailand's Motorcycle Gospel Team. We were very excited. Having been out with the team I presented the project from the stage. Two bikes with a price tag of $8844 was the target. That night they announced from the stage that $8,900 had been given. 600 people individually gave towards a project and gave $56 more than the project cost - how amazing is that. We give thanks to God.
In the end I felt that the entire event must have brought glory to God.
Next year ReachOut will be different. The date and/or location must change. If the location changes then the format may need to change as well. This is an important conference for missions in NSW. Please pray as the committee considers the future of ReachOut.