PORTLAND — “Who is Able” to touch the world for Jesus Christ?
With those three words the theme for the 15th annual run of one of this region’s larger Christian events, the message for all who attend Mission ConneXion Northwest will be that even those who feel most inadequate to serve God can do so effectively with His help and guidance.
The free-admission conference takes place Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20 and 21, at Sunset Presbyterian Chruch, 14986 N. W. Cornell Road, with a preliminary Leadership ConneXion event preceding during the day on Friday.
An estimated 3,200 people attended last year’s conference. In addition to plenary sessions with keynote speakers, Mission ConneXion offers scores of workshops and exhibits on missions. Keynoters this year are Joni Earekcson Tada, Tom Doyle, Andrew Palau and Michael Oh. Ac-cording to event found-er and Executive Director Bill MacLeod, all understand what it meant to feel inadequate as they considered the ministry God laid before them.
Famed for decades as an author, artist and singer, Eareckson Tada’s life almost came to an abrupt end as a result of a diving accident when she was a teenager. Her “disability” left her paralyzed from the neck down and changed the course of her life — but did not define who she was. She is founder of Joni and Friends, a ministry to those challenged by disabilities.
A familiar face within the Christian community here in his home state of Orergon, Palau is an evangelist with the ministry founded by his evangelist father, Luis Palau. The younger Palau is author of The Secret Life of a Fool: One Man’s Raw Journey from Shame to Grace, which details how the truth of the Gospel delivererd him from the rebellious attitudes of his youth.
Doyle is author of Killing Christians… Living the Faith Where it is Not Safe to Believe. Christian persecution is at an all-time high globally, and the book outlines how courageous persecuted believers are leading a new Jesus movement around the world. It tells stories from the front lines of the war raging around Jesus’ Church in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel.
Oh is the executive director and CEO of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, a global movement of evangelical leaders. He and his family have served on the mission field in Japan.
Theme for Leadership ConneXion, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, is “How Can Your Church Make a Difference in the World?” Speaker is Bruce Camp, founder and CEO of California-based DualReach, which assists local congregations and mission agencies to be more effective and strategic in local and global outreach.
Cost for the Leadership ConneXion pre-conference event is $50 individual, or $45 each for groups of three or more, by Dec. 16; or $65 individual or $60 group rate after that date, through the registration deadline of Jan. 9. Cost includes catered lunch and workshop materials.
Although the main Mission ConneXion conference is free, advance registration is needed and can be done through the event website, www.missionconnexion.com