Thursday, November 7, 2013

4/14 Window in Thailand

Can’t say that Asia was on my bucket list of travel destinations, but after 2 weeks in what is deemed the ‘Land of a Thousand Smiles’ I have a new-found love for this part of the world.  Did I mention I love Thai food?

I was privileged to travel to Thailand to participate in the 4/14 Window ‘Rooted and Released’ conference in Bangkok.

What is the 4/14 Window you may be asking??  In short- it is a pretty amazing movement, which is focusing on seeing children as partners in mission. As in...don't forget about the children- they are important!

Statistically speaking, those who accept Christ between the ages of 4 and 14 will go on to follow Christ in their adult years.  Simply put, reaching children is critical.   As one of the speakers stated, “The church is never more than one generation away from extinction.” A very sobering thought.

Though I was raised in a Christian home I can say that my faith became my own at the age of 14, an age where the choices of going one-way or the other were screaming for my attention.  Praise God, thanks to discipleship and good teaching, my faith was cultivated and grown.  At that key age—14.

The purpose of the conference was bringing together leaders from across the world (92 nations to be exact!) and to bring teaching and resources for reaching today’s youth—as teachers, preachers, missionaries, media entities, etc.  I was there to take part in the Orphan and Vulnerable Children track and share strategies and ideas in that sphere. Again- surrounded by a phenomenal group of people.

Eastern European representatives
candles lit at the conclusion of our prayer time for orphans
In all honesty, I went to this conference rather tired.  I’ve organized and been a part of a good amount of conferences in my life and sometimes can feel like I’ve heard and seen it all—not a very humble attitude I admit!    So I went to this conference asking for some revival and some encouragement from the Lord…I think I realized I needed this to keep going. 

Today, 2 weeks later I’m still going through all my notes, trying to make sense of it all and trying to wrap my head around all I learned.  Believe me- there were many inspiring moments. One thing I was clearly challenged in is that we are going to have to get our hands dirty if we are going to make a difference. Or as it was said from the stage, “We need to put blood in the deal, and leave the talk behind.” Though my life may look glamorous to some from afar, I know that I play it safe in many spheres and choose the cleaner option- and I want this to change.

Wars are never fought from behind the palace walls.  Battles are never won in the castle; they are won on the fields.  I’m still wrestling with what this means in my work—where God is stretching me more and where he is calling me to step out of my comfort zone.  
So for now I'll leave this as a post that doesn't resolve with a nice wrapped up ending, as I'm still thinking and still wrestling with God on this one.  I guess I'm asking you to ask yourself the same question-- where are you playing it safe?  Where is God asking you to put action to words?

You'll have to answer that one for yourself.

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