A small, square rattan basket holds a stack of brown paper, and a collection of pens
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Personal Impact Stories

A number of personal impact stories have been shared with us which reveal the ripple effects from Mission Central Conferences in the past, present and future. These are just the tip of the iceberg and we delight in knowing how faithful God has been through the work of countless churches, agencies, and volunteers over the decades.

Vera's Story

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It was a while ago now but in 2008 a college friend and I went to Missions Fest and checked out all the booths. We both had been to Japan temporarily in the past to visit and were interested in going back. As we walked around we ran into a missions booth for Japan and she gave us a contact of these two Norwegian missionary ladies in their 70's.

She said: "Why don't you pray about it and e-mail them."

So we each did, and sent off our e-mails. We weren't sure how it would turn out but shortly after we got an email back saying, "We were praying specifically that God would send us two single ladies to help us."

Wow...so that was a big green light if there was one. I remember something a preacher said to me once, "If you say 'yes' the adventure continues."

So at 19 I left off to Japan with my friend. Though it was only a 6 month trip, that time impacted my relationship with God in a way that affects me even now. I thought it was others God was going to impact through my help, but now I know it was also God's plan to change the trajectory of my life.

We started an English Cafe in our small town inside an old church that hadn't been used, helped a neighbouring church with events and youth group. I was so naive when I arrived and faced struggles I didn't anticipate. Every morning we heard the gongs of shrines surrounding our house. Our home town had only 4 believers out of 20,000 residents. It was here I learned to really believe the Holy Spirit was always with me. Through trial, God taught me to love the Bible like never before, and learn to communicate the gospel through service.

I'm so thankful that Missions Fest was a part of something that changed my life forever.

Vera Zimmerman

Amanda's Story

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Having been called to missions as a very small child and growing up attending Missions Fest, I think the biggest impact was the value I saw placed on children and missions. I loved attending the children's sessions throughout the weekend and the Friday Field Trip. As I got older, I worked with the team to organize the field trip portion and it was always so encouraging to see the presenters and organizations who were keen to share with the kids. I think Missions Fest may never know the full extent of the seeds planted in children's hearts because of the field trip and the weekend children's program.

Personally, I knew God was calling me into missions at 5 years old, and going to Missions Fest every year nourished my soul and fueled my desire to follow His call. It has been a long time since I was 5, but Missions Fest helped me to keep running after God and to stay focused on Him. Hearing the Window on the World spotlights made me feel like God can use anyone and maybe one day I would get to be one of those people who share in the plenary session.

I'm currently teaching at a school for the children of missionary families and am no longer able to attend the conference in person but every year as the end of January comes closer I still get excited for Missions Fest and all that will happen during the weekend.

Amanda

Sharen's Story

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The first planning meeting for what became Missions Fest was held in my living room in August 1982 when my second child was only 2 weeks old, so MF became a hugely influential part of our lives. We hosted many well-known missionaries in our home for many years and that led to much reading about missions and missionaries, my children participating in overseas missions and missions training, and my lengthy involvement in a sending missions committee targeting a specific people group.

One of the blessings of MF was the gathering of the whole church of the Lower Mainland. The last weekend of January was a wonderful highlight of the year.

Over the decades our whole family volunteered with MF in various capacities. What we learned from the missionary speakers and seminars enlarged our family's worldview, had us engaged in mission endeavours, and kept our hearts focused on the eternal. MF brought a richness and breadth to our lives we would otherwise have missed, and I am forever grateful.

Sharen Frewing

Do you have a Missions Fest Vancouver / Mission Central impact story you would like to share with us? Send it today!

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