Conference News

We’re excited to announce we will be recording sessions at M3, so even though you won’t be able to attend all of them at the conference, with a paid registration you will have access to every session that we record post-conference. More information to come!

From the Mission Field to the Halls of Congress: Sharing Your Story as Advocacy

Like Dr. Paul Osteen and so many others who dedicate weeks or months of their year to provide clinical care in underserved populations in developing nations, Doctor-Senator Bill Frist has spent over twenty-five years traveling to impoverished, conflict areas with World Medical Mission to provide medical attention where none may exist otherwise.

He shares his stories in his biography, A Heart to Serve: The Passion to Bring Health, Hope, and Healing (2008) with powerful and exciting anecdotes, particularly from Southern Sudan. Perhaps the most important thread through those stories is the link between his work in the mission field and the Halls of Congress. During his tenure as the U.S. Senate Majority Leader in the Bush Administration, his stories from medical missions made their way to the desk of the president. With his voice and experience, he was able to relay the reality of the pandemic of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and lack of access to clean water that was killing thousands daily across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Those stories influenced the passing of legislation under his watch: the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act. And lives have been, and continue to be, saved. In fact, with these historic foreign assistance initiatives, over 15 million lives have been saved globally since 2002 from HIV/AIDS alone, in part because of Sen. Dr. Frist’s stories and the power of advocacy.

As we look to assemble, visit, and learn from one another in February, let’s consider the power of our collective stories from medical missions. Each person at the conference has likely experienced the plight of a child who lacks access to primary care, the anxiety of a mother who doesn’t know how to feed all her children, the fear of a father that he might be diagnosed with HIV, or the community that despairs it has no access to clean water or sanitation. These are just some of the issues that our brothers and sisters in developing nations experience on a daily basis.

When King Lemuel takes the throne, his mother offers some sage words of wisdom to her reigning son in Proverbs 31: 8-9:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who

are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor.

Let us consider the power of using our voices and our stories, individually and collectively, to our Congressional representatives to let them know that we very much care about standing up for the poor and the destitute, for those who have no voice. Let’s let our leaders know that we want to protect and increase U.S. governmental funding in foreign assistance to provide health, nutrition, clean water, and development for millions of the most vulnerable families on the planet. Less than 1% of our entire U.S. budget is dedicated to foreign assistance. Surely, as followers of Christ, we can rally behind 1 penny to the dollar for those whom we know and love around the world, particularly when we are called as a church to tithe for those in need.

Advocacy is a simple, yet extremely powerful practice. In a moment where Washington is plagued by hostility, austerity, and concern for the next election, let’s take a stand for the world’s poorest, supporting our members of Congress, to champion foreign assistance, as a moral initiative to uplift women, children, and communities around the world.

By Jenny Eaton Dyer, PhD,  January 13, 2015

5 Steps to Transforming Your Life in 2016 by Jöel Malm

So this is the year right? This is the year that you are going to change some things and really pursue the life you know God has for you.

If you’ve decided this is the year you step out and really pursue your calling I’ve got good news for you. You can do it!

As a personal development coach I’ve seen that the moment we get serious and start taking the steps toward transforming our lives God steps in and does what we can’t do – he brings the transformation.  He does what seems impossible.

But we need to take the first steps.

St. Iraneus is know for saying, “Work as if it depends on you. Pray as if it depends on God.”

Life transformation is a combination of hard work and God’s power in your life.

That said, here are five steps you can take right now to show you are serious about stepping into the fullness of all God has for you this year.

1. Get Quiet

We live in a loud world. But God typically speaks in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12). If we want to really connect with the voice of God we must learn to get quiet. God is telling a story with your life, you just need to get quiet and listen. The good, bad, and ugly of your life are all things God wants to use to bring himself glory and ultimately to bring you joy. Get quiet and listen to God’s voice in your life.

2. Get Focused

You are going to end up somewhere in life. You might as well get there on purpose. This only happens when you get intentional about direction. Your life is on a path right now. Is it taking you where you want to go? Are lesser priorities sapping your valuable time? As you listen to God’s voice he’ll remind you what is most important. The next step is to make sure you create margin in your life for priorities. Then stay laser-focused on those priorities.

3. Change Your Habits

If nothing changes, nothing changes. Studies have shown that 40-45% of our actions aren’t decision-based. They are habit-based. We develop habits without even realizing we have them. Much of what we do comes from defense mechanisms we developed long ago to cope with life. But many of these defenses and habits are actually self-destructive. They hold us back. There’s a good chance you already know what habits are holding you back. If you want to move to the next level you need to get serious about beating those habits. Bring in some outside help and accountability. You can beat your habits, but you need a community around you to help you.

4. Overcome Your Fear

If we are honest, most of us would admit that we live in a constant state of fear. Fear of the future. Fear of failure. Fear of death. Some of us even fear success. Our fears limit what God wants to do in our life. But God offers freedom from fear. Too often we come right up to the precipice of what God has for us but we are afraid to step of the ledge. But as Joseph Campbell once said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” The future you dream of will only come on the other side of you overcoming your fear and taking some risk.

5. Make a Written Plan

If you want to make God laugh just tell him your plans. You can’t plan every step of your life. But you can make a plan for how you are going to be a good steward of what God has put in front of you right now. We all have access to resources. How we use those resources will determine what other opportunities God places in front of us. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. (Matt. 25:29) Faithfully using what God has given us now ensures he will give more. Make a written plan for how you are going to manage what God has given you. Then get to work doing what you can. God will bring the increase if you step out and are faithful with what you have – no matter how small it may seem.

By Joël Malm

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