Fresh Look at the Global Church
Ellen Jones, the daughter of a pastor, was raised in the church and grew up listening to testimony after testimony. She often wondered if she would ever have a story of her own to tell, and God has been faithful. Ellen’s kids are now grown and she and her husband reside in a small town in Arizona. They are involved in serving their local church in a number of ways. Ellen meets regularly with women throughout the community to encourage and pray with them, and is often found bringing meals to people. Her husband serves on the elder team at their church.
Their rural mountain community offers a tight-knit atmosphere, but it is remote and therefore Ellen was a bit surprised, and excited, to be invited to attend the Global Church Forum by a local friend. She logged on to the conference blindly, with the only expectation that God would be at work in her heart, and hopefully the hearts of many others.
Ellen admitted she was a little worried about the content of the Global Church Forum, as so much even in the Church today is clouded by politics. She hoped people would not be turned away from the heart of Jesus.
“I was worried it might be more of a ‘my side, your side battle,’ said Ellen. “Thankfully, I was wrong! The Global Church Forum did not have a political agenda. Instead, it was real people sharing real stories of the love of Jesus globally and in the United States.”
Ellen shared that two speakers were particularly encouraging to her. Sarah Breuel, who serves in Rome with IFES, spoke passionately about her work to reach the Italians who are so desperate for Jesus. And Dave Eubank, from Free Burma Rangers, who literally risks his life daily to bring physical and spiritual relief to the indigenous people of Burma. The hunger they demonstrated – the hunger for Jesus, the hunger to want a deep relationship with the Lord, the hunger to share His love and truth – greatly challenged her.
“Living in a small town, it’s easy!” said Ellen. “It’s easy to lose sight. It’s easy to go to church and it’s easy to worship the Lord, and sometimes easy makes you lazy. It was extremely refreshing to hear the hunger for the Lord globally.”
Ellen said she was pleasantly surprised at what she took away from the conference.
“The Global Church Forum was different than any other conference I’ve been to because all politics were off the table,” said Ellen. “The conference addressed important issues that need to be talked about. I was very encouraged, and eager to share.”
She was reminded there are so many people who are hungry to hear these truths. No matter how hard they are, they need to be spoken and because of the Global Church Forum she is encouraged to be more intentional in speaking truth and love to followers of Jesus, as well as those who don’t know him yet. She hopes to stay on fire by realizing the Western church is far from perfect, but that by sharing her story and what she learned through the Global Church Forum, others would want to follow and seek God’s truth.
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