By Kim Frolander, Missions Coordinator, Inverness Vineyard (AL)
Worship lifted off with a literal GONG! David Ruis, Vineyard Canada’s National Director, led the delegates and leaders of 22 nations of the world in dynamic worship of our Great King of All Nations! Among all the represented cultures and languages many commonalities shined through, chief among them being love for our King, followed closely by the gratitude of being included in His Kingdom!
The Indonesian Team led by Loudy Posumah worked tirelessly to host the 260-ish men and women who attended this conference held in their nation’s capital. They did an excellent job! Delegates were encouraged, identities in the Kingdom were reinforced, and prayer flowed freely.
Main session speakers [Sunny Gilbert (India), David Ruis (Canada), Noel Isaacs (Himalayan Region), Eleanor Mumford (UK), Loudy Posumah (Indonesia), and Ross Naylor-Tatterson (US)] reinforced our Vineyard identity and Kingdom theology (particularly focusing on formation, ministry, leadership, and life). The speakers inspired and brought a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to fill our heart-sails to do what pastors and leaders are called to do and to be, despite the consequences or risk. Leaders of breakout workshops in the afternoon emphasized the practical application of Kingdom Life and spiritual health tools, while also offering time for individual questions to be answered.
For this Western delegate, three of the most memorable moments occurring in the main sessions were the extended opening welcome songs and dances by a couple dozen orphan children, including one cutie who was not yet 4 years old following along with the other children a quarter-step behind (see her on the left side of the video for you to enjoy!), and the prayer that happened on many topics and fronts: freedom broke through for a lady traumatized by a fire earlier in life, nations gathered around delegates from Myanmar to pray and then the Spirit’s emphasis shifted to other nations throughout the conference, Korea’s healing and reunification, China, Vietnam, and more. We saw dragons (in the spirit) bowing their knees to the King of Kings!
The final outstanding moment bloomed before our eyes when the hotel staff encountered the Holy Spirit and let us pray over them and their families. They braved us crowds of strangers who had been showing them Jesus by just being grateful and “seeing them” not seeing through them for a couple of days. About a dozen of them walked to the front of the room and allowed us as a group to bless them and minister to them. Each of them encountered the love of the God who created them! People shed tears who had never cried in front of anyone before. Peace filled some, a little bit of shaking, but mostly there was an awareness of God, His love, and His power. They felt Him and we felt Him. Oh how God loves people!
As usual in the Vineyard, much of our connection time, advice, and inspiration occurred over food. And was there ever a lot of deliciousness! Breakfast, coffee break, lunch, coffee break, and dinner, every day, and all buffets. (Perhaps self-control will be an offered breakout workshop for me next time!)
“I will” statements of commitment, sweet goodbyes, and many selfies together with new friends drew us to the close of this meeting and the opening of the next chapter of ministry in Asia. There are not many photos or videos available of this important event because of the security guidelines we collectively regarded to keep safe all our friends working in high-risk areas, but our memories will warm us until we meet again, as we together work in the Kingdom here and the Kingdom coming!