May was a busy month here at State College, PA. But what an enjoyable sort of busyness! Three major events took our focus and built to a climax during the last weekend.
We started on the 15th with new member orientation. Getting a well-rounded understanding of what ABT is about and how we operate is helpful. Taking some time to look into Bible translation and community development helps new members understand team functions. Placing both of those efforts squarely within their proper role of supporting the ultimate goal of church planting is an essential focus.
Five people participated in Orientation:
- A young single sister, who grew up in a missionary family in Mexico. She plans to return to work with her family among the Tarahumara, especially focusing on a literacy program. She is supported by a church in Mexico and a church in Pennsylvania.
- A couple from a church in northwestern Pennsylvania are preparing to serve in a community development role. Like many members in training, they don't yet know where they will be serving.
- We ask new spouses to take Orientation, so another member from a church in southern Pennsylvania brought his bride and went through it with her. This couple plans to join the Mixtec team in Guerrero, Mexico.
Highlights of Camp Week were great content, meaningful fellowship, and lots of inspiration and encouragement. All available members in training and several from the field came together under a tent in the back field for three grace-filled days.
As we mentioned earlier, Melvin Lehman came and shared with us about the Kingdom of God. He brought a number of challenges, calling us to keep God's Kingdom as central in the gospel we live and proclaim as it is in the Bible itself.
Other speakers addressed the following subjects:
- Paul Shirk. How We Got the Canon of Scripture (Did you know the Bible itself explains how we know which books are Scripture and which are not?)
- Paul Dye (Ethnos360). Working Together: How an Uncontacted Tribe Received the Gospel (The initial contact, and then—Why did it take so long for them to really hear the gospel?)
- Jay S. Supporting, Encouraging, and Staying Connected with Your Members (What are some roles that need to be faithfully filled?)
The final two days were packed—in more ways than one! Nearly 200 people attended EXPLORE ABT, which made for a packed room. And we had lots of sessions and information packed into a short two days.
And you can even reserve your place in next year's event!