Everywhere to Everywhere: International Wesleyan Leaders Gather to Pursue Partnership
Following The Wesleyan Church (TWC) General Conference, 44 international Wesleyan leaders from 25 different nations came together for an Everywhere to Everywhere gathering, to spend time together in fellowship, learning and worship.
It’s not every day these leaders are able to all be in a room together – and it was not taken for granted. Through building trust, increasing awareness and seeking God, the group focused on discerning new ways of partnering together to fulfill the Great Commission.
As part of this prayerful discernment and conversation, many leaders testified to the powerful ways God is moving in the church around the world.
The attendees heard from the General Director of World Missions for the Philippines General Conference of TWC, Rev. Silver Lumahan, who showed a video of what the church in the Philippines has been working toward and then asked everyone to pray for the person next to them.
The group also heard from Aryanne Batista, a seminary professor and mission leader in Brazil, who spoke about her journey into missions and Brazil’s younger generation that has been deeply enthusiastic and committed to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Mohammed Said from Mozambique spoke on the history of missions, giving everyone a reminder of the context of what brought everyone together in the first place. National Superintendent of TWC in Ghana, Rev. Felix Baafi, spoke of ways the Wesleyan church in Ghana has been working with the Wesleyan church in Haiti; Luis Azofeifa, national superintendent of TWC in Costa Rica, told of land that will be used as a missionary training camp.
On and on, attendees heard stories of God’s power to unleash a mission force. Many countries represented at the gathering, such as the Philippines and South Africa, were at one time places that would receive missionaries. Now, with a mature national church, these countries are able to send missionaries to unreached people groups. As we see the church grow and multiply itself, we can’t help but humbly thank and praise our Lord.
Global Partners facilitator of Church Development and Growth for Francophone countries, Carl Gilles, said he was glad to see Wesleyans from different parts of the world join forces so that the Gospel of Jesus can be clearly communicated and shared everywhere.
“This experience was important for those present to know we are not islands, but we have a greater family of believers who are available to help in partnership, in sharing, communicating and rejoicing together,” Carl said.
In between reports on what God is doing across the globe, delegates reflected on the reports and testimonies, asking questions like “what ideas does this give you,” “how could you do something similar in your area,” and “what has God given you that might serve this team so they could be even more effective?”
Rev. Mohammad Said, who is also a Bible college teacher and mission director, said through everything that was presented at the event, it was clear to him that “we have to be intentional as to where we should give much attention in terms of planning, investing and sending.”
“Above all, I understood that God was and is at work through all the generations, despite our shortcomings,” he said.
Nikki Nettleton, Director of Learning and Leadership at Global Partners, was among a group of leaders who facilitated the experience. She said, “It was a joy to listen to and learn from a globally diverse group of mission-minded church leaders (as they shared) what God is doing to raise up a mission-sending force.”
“The Holy Spirit met us in a unifying and inspiring way, growing our collective trust, awareness, discernment and resolve to pray for each other and partner together in obeying the Great Commission.”
We are not islands, but we have a greater family of believers who are…communicating and rejoicing together.
At the end of the two-day experience, a mission statement was created by and for the leaders. The statement read:
“In obedience to the Great Commission, we commit to pray for one another and partner with each other in taking the Gospel from everywhere to everywhere, empowered and led by the Holy Spirit…until the whole world knows!”
Each attendee signed the statement as a way to illustrate their unity and accountability.
There is much excitement for the days to come. Good things are here and we believe that good things are coming. Join us in praising God for this opportunity of time spent together.