Friday, July 09, 2010

The Great General Conference

For the past few weeks I have been working at the 59th General Conference Session in Atlanta Georgia. For those who might not know, the GC is a time for leaders (called delegates) in the Seventh-day Adventist church to get together and vote on different important issues to direct our church. Delegates are not the only ones to go to the sessions though, it is a time for people to come from all over the world and connect with other Adventists, and get spiritual refreshing. In the evenings and mornings, wonderful speakers from all over the world give devotional talks and updates on the missions in their Unions.

I was working with a team of Oakwood students at the information booths for the convention. This gave me a great opportunity to meet new people, as well as see many old friends walking past.

My team at our information booth

One of the many highlights of my time there was people watching. It is so heartwarming to observe people reconnect with those who they haven't seen for 15 years or more, and look at the utter joy on their faces as they embraced for the first time in decades.

Some good friends that were missionaries with us in Malawi

Another highlight was the sheer abundance of nationalities that were present at the meetings. Even though there were so many nationalities, they all were joined together with a bond of brotherly love. It reminded me of the song "red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in God's sight".

Some friends I met in Russia

With 80,000 people together working for the Lord, made my mind turn to Jesus' return. Think of the people from "every nation, tongue, tribe and people" all gathered together in one big "General Conference" in heaven! Not only will we see people who we haven't seen for 15 years, but we will see grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters who have died long ago. We won't just see famous preachers and evangelists like Mark Finley, we will also see people like Abraham, Joseph, the apostles Peter, John, and Paul. We won't just see musicians like Wintley Phipps, we will also see J. S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Buxtehude. People from every country, every religion, every region of the earth will be living peacefully together, because they all love their Redeemer.

Wintley Phipps

The best part of the great reunion in heaven, will be meeting our greatest Desire: Jesus. Our God who died for us, that we might be together with Him.

We have this hope that burns within our hearts,
Hope in the coming of the Lord
We have this faith that Christ alone imparts
Faith in the promise of His word!

We believe the time is here,
When the nations far and near
Shall awake and shout and sing
Hallelujah, Christ is King!

We have this hope that burns within our hearts!
Hope in the coming of the Lord!