At the end of our first full day at the Mennonite World Conference in Pennsylvania I am filled with thankfulness for the opportunity to participate in such an historic event. It is an awesome faith-building experience to sing together with thousands of fellow Anabaptists from around the globe, often in other languages. It also helps me to appreciate the greatness of God and the vastness of His church, to fellowship with brothers and sisters from other cultures.
We are gathering in a huge ‘Farm Complex’ which includes many areas, including artwork, quilts, and crafts. And where else but at a Mennonite conference could you pick up an expansion pack for Dutch Blitz? (let me know if you want me to get you one).
Each day we meet in a small group (sort of like a House church really) made up of participants from around the world. I was able to get to know a young lady from Paris, France who grew up on the island of Martinique. It was beautiful to hear her recite the Lord’s Prayer (en Francais) at the end of our time.
It’s been interesting that even in such a large group of people everyone from Westheights has met someone that they know. And it was special to have our own Don McNiven on the main stage as an MC.
Overall it has been a very busy day, including an afternoon with Pastor Todd leading the Westheights’ staff in a crash course on strategic planning.
Today’s theme was Walking with God in Doubt and Conviction and we heard a gifted girl from Ethiopia speak of her experiences and faith. With wisdom beyond her years she encouraged us to allow our doubts to sharpen our convictions and she emphasized how faith and doubt are like the two pedals of a bicycle – we need to use both to move us forward.