In July 2018, Sam Gray (BWM Director of Mission Outreach), Anna Stewart-Faircloth (BWM Summer Intern), and Becca Mock had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica for a mission conference. Sam and Anna share a bit about the conference and their experiences below.
Background on the Costa Rica Mission Conference
by Bishop Sam Gray
Costa Rica Mission Conference 2018
by Anna Stewart-Faircloth
Delayed flights, landslides, lightning strikes, and a broken air conditioning unit. The devil was working hard but thankfully the Lord was working harder. After our first few eventful days, we were able to start our conference with our brothers and sisters of Moravian congregations in Costa Rica.
We gathered in a room that had no air conditioning thanks to a storm the night before that had knocked out the power. Roughly the temperature of a sauna, we began worshiping together. I mean, if you ain’t sweating, you ain’t praising, right?
Our opening day began with asking the question, “What is mission?” We read Matthew 4:18-22 and discussed how when Jesus called Peter and Andrew, they were casting their nets, but when Jesus called James and John, they were mending their nets. We discussed how we can use this story and relate it to our lives and to our churches.
As the people talked in groups, I noticed some of the struggles they mentioned happening in their churches were also happening in our churches back home. A few of the problems they mentioned were: how do we reach our youth and college age kids and make them feel a part of our church? How can we improve our churches so outside guests want to join? How can we be more mission-minded and involved in our community as a church?
We shared many great ideas with each other. I shared what had worked with our churches in the past and what hasn’t. They brainstormed new ideas for their youth and community involvement. It was inspiring to see so many people excited and eager for change in their church.
We attended church that Sunday, and people from the conference stood up to share what they had learned from our time together. They expressed their gratitude for the leadership and their eagerness to bring back new ideas to try at their church. It is exciting to see our brothers and sisters working together to find solutions on how to reach the lost and even those in our churches who don’t feel as important. I am thankful for my time spent in Costa Rica and I am excited to stay updated on all their progress and see their ideas at work.