TUALATIN — Next month’s 17th run of Mission ConneXion Northwest — one of the largest annual Christian events in the region — will take an honest look at challenges individuals face in missions work today. The theme this time reflects that, as a simple two-word question, “Worth It?”
According to not only the conference’s organizers, but also its four keynote speakers, the answer is an unqualified yes. As one of those four speakers, evangelist York Moore, described it on the event’s web site: “Missions is often a complex and daunting task filled with pain, panic and problems,” York stated. “I want leaders to come away believing deep in their souls that the mission is worth it, that people are worth it, that the gospel is totally worth it.”
Sponsored by a wide range of Northwest churches, Mission ConneXion takes place Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18 and 19, at Rolling Hills Community Church, 3550 S.W. Borland Road in Tualatin. Last year an estimated 3,600 attended the event at the church.
Admission to Mission ConneXion is free, but advance registration is required for each of the two days and can be done at missionconnexion.com
In addition to plenary sessions with the keynote speakers, Mission ConneXion offers more than 100 workshops and more than 95 exhibits, all relating to missions. In addition to Moore, keynoters are Luis Palau, Nik Ripken and Heather Mercer.
From Detroit, Mich., Moore is national evangelist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship U.S.A. A former atheist, he met Christ while doing undergraduate work in philosophy at the University of Michigan. He earned a master’s degree in global leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of Do Something Beautiful: The Story of Everything and a Guide to Your Place in It, Growing Your Faith by Giving it Away and Making All Things New: God’s Dream for Global Justice.
Palau is the famed global evangelist who has long lived in Portland. He and his ministry have shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with tens of millions of people through evangelistic events and media for more than a half-century. He has spoken in 75 nations, with more than 1 million registered decisions for Christ. He has authored close to 50 books, contributed articles on issues of faith to countless publications, and counseled business leaders, political leaders, and heads of state around the world.
Ripken is considered the world’s leading expert on the persecuted church in Muslim contexts. He is a missions veteran of 30 years, having served primarily in North Africa and the Middle East. He is the author of The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience. He and his wife spent three decades in missions work in the African nations of Malawi, South Africa and Kenya.
Mercer made world headlines in 2001 when she and fellow aid worker Dayna Curry in Afghanistan were arrested by the Taliban for preaching about Christ and were put on trial; they were freed from prison two months later by anti-Taliban forces. Within days Mercer and Curry met with President George W. Bush at the White House. Two years later, Mercer went to Iraq for church planting among the Kurdish people. In 2008 she founded Global Hope, focused on reaching the Muslim world with the Gospel.
Ripken is also featured at a separate pre-conference event, Leadership ConneXion, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the church. Theme is “The Insanity of Leadership: The Cost of Saying ‘Yes.’ ’’ Cost is $50. To register, go to missionconnexion.com/leadership-connexion-2019