Aug 3, 2022 | Gilbert's Journal



My wife and I arrived in Orlando exactly a week ago to take part in the much awaited World Discipleship Summit in Orlando, Florida.

What a blessing it was to arrive two days ahead of the Beam Missions Foundation Conference and to spend time with great friends – Max and Kareen Laplanche. They took us to the Animal Kingdom lodge where we experienced Africa in a unique way – Giraffes and many other animals, African art, etc.

Orlando is simply an incredibly beautiful, purpose-built tourist and conference city, full of beautiful lakes, green pasture – an incredible integration of modernity with nature.

Those two days also gave me time to settle and put finishing touches to my lesson on Image Bearing Unity as God’s solution to the problem of Tribalism.

God truly blessed the Beam Missions Conference as we deliberated on the ideal graduate and program for the schools of missions around the world. It was such an encouraging time as we met with people we have only related with virtually, at least for the past two years.

I also had the privilege of “sneaking” in to attend the morning session of the Teacher’s Service Team, representing Emmanuel Emeh, who represents the African Teachers in that global Service Team. What an opportunity it was to rob minds with heroes in the faith, mentors who have inspired me and many others in the Teaching arena.

The highlight of the conference was on Sunday evening when thousands of disciples filled up the convention center for an amazing official kick-off. Words cannot capture the emotion of that evening. There were screams in the fellowship as disciples reconnected with friends they had not seen for many years.

Some of the lasting impressions from that memorable opening ceremony were:
• The emergence of a new generation of leaders – worship, leadership etc.
• The sentiment that we are truly an international family of God
• The encouragement to realize that we are not alone – many around the world are going through the same challenges – the Christian life can often feel quite lonely.

This year’s conference has the particularity of having many tracks running simultaneously. We have been following the International Leadership Track which ends today.

What an honor it was to share on Monday and to see the response. The different classes have been drawn mainly from the book of Colossians and I can’t wait for the recordings of so many other lessons I couldn’t attend.

We are leaving Orlando this afternoon for a road trip to Atlanta with the Adkins (from North River Marietta) and the Dasses (from Accra, Ghana). Our return to Nigeria will be on Friday evening to arrive Saturday morning and we can’t wait to be reunited with our son Joseph and the larger church family.

Next week, I will find the time to digest and share some more detailed lessons learnt from this amazing conference and entire 3-week trip.

Thanks for your continued support and prayers for a safe return home!


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