This article originally appeared in our November 2018 newsletter.
Pastor David had made the arrangements for the “Stewarding God’s Family” Conference and sent invitations across the nation to key couples in ministry. Then, the conference hotel where reservations had been made called David to inform him that the agreed upon rate for rooms and food had tripled! David emailed us with the news and we all prayed — with urgency!
Another conference center with more basic accommodations just “happened” to have a cancellation so the facility would be available on just the right days and the cost would be less.
This meant that even though the venue was not as nice, more couples could attend. Instead of 15 couples in ministry, there were 35!
A goal of Firefall International is “transforming nations through compassionate partnership.” This conference was an example of that.
Nancy and I (Jim) shared the teaching load with Pastor David and his wife, Diim Te, and also the associate pastor, Daniel and his wife, Diim. In addition, worship and morning devotions were led by nationals. We wish we could express to you the joy of seeing our spiritual sons and daughters ministering in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit.
When God Stepped In
There is a moment in the conference that stands out to me. I was teaching from Romans 16 where Paul is thanking those who worked with him in the gospel. His list is about equally divided between men and women. Paul was not teaching doctrine or defining ecclesiastical positions, he was just thanking those who did the work. My purpose was to show that, in Paul’s view, women were equally acknowledged and appreciated for their service in the Lord.
As I was talking about Paul thanking those faithful workers, I started to thank those in front of me for their work. As I did, it was if I stopped speaking and God was speaking through me right to their hearts. I felt the compassion and gratitude of the Holy Spirit for these unrecognized giants of faith. I thanked them for boldly going into demonic strongholds, for sowing seeds of the gospel with tears and faith into hard ground, and for persevering in the midst of all kinds of persecution and resistance. I felt these words of gratitude go into their hearts like water into thirsty ground.
Later Nancy and I interviewed one of our Firefall associates who is planting a church in one of the hardest regions of this dark nation. He said that it was the first time someone had said “Thank you” for the sacrifices he and his family were making.
In some ways this conference was like Ezekiel’s vision where he spoke life into dry bones and they became an army. I’m convinced that spiritual victories will be won and the kingdom extended because of your prayer and sponsorship of these couples. Thank you!