Dan and I were at our daughter’s college (Trinity College of Florida) missionary conference last week for 3 days. We set up our booth the first day and were prepared when classes were dismissed. Dawn walked by our booth with a group of her friends. When she got to the end of the table, I was standing there and she gave me a big hug. One of her classmates gave a gasp, her hand flew to her mouth and she said, “Dawn you can’t go around hugging the missionaries!” Dawn turned around and said “She’s my mom!”. Her friend’s eyes flew open wide and the look of chagrin on her face was priceless. Everyone around had a great laugh about it. She knew Dawn was an MK, missionary kid, so she figured that due to that Dawn felt a real affinity toward missionaries and was going around hugging the missionaries. She didn’t know we were her parents. It really was hilarious! (The rest of the week, whenever I saw her, I reached out and gave her a big hug.)
On the first day of the conference, I had an interesting conversation with the Child Evangelism Fellowship missionary at his booth. He is what I call a ripple effect. He quit the military to become a missionary because of the ministry and influence of my dad who was a CEF missionary to the US military in Germany. When he got to the US for CEF’s training institute, my dad was one of his teachers. One can never tell how far out your ministry will ripple! It brought tears to my eyes. I wish my dad knew how far his ripples have reached! (My dad died of ALS in 2002.)
As the students were milling around, perusing the booths, the school’s 4 Haitians found our booth. One of them picked up the Creole hymnal that we had out and found her favorite hymn. She started singing and the others joined in. They stood there and sang all the verses. A crowd formed and listened to the impromptu concert in a foreign language. It was cool. Each one of them made an effort to find us from time to time during the 3 days to say hi and talk about Haiti.
We were able to have great personal interaction with the students at our booth, at meals and in chapel. It’s been fun to meet Dawn’s friends, too, and to see her going through “the college experience”. Dan was one of 5 missionaries chosen to share in an evening chapel, which gave him a unique setting to touch every student. He shared Amanda’s testimony (see our previous blog entry!) and gave a great challenge to the kids for personal missions involvement.
The last day we had a 45 minute workshop where 18 students learned that being a missionary is a rewarding, fullfilling life. They received a challenge to consider becoming green: taking their home culture (blue), mixing in a new foreign culture (yellow) resulting in a new unique culture all their own (green)! God needs more who are willing to become GREEN.
Since the school is small, we were able to get to know students by name and have several opportunities to interact. It made for a much better missions conference experience for us; it made it very enjoyable.
We got home Saturday, but not to the empty nest that we had when we left, but I’ll save that for another blog entry!