By Vince McCarty
This past June, ninety-two Open Bible people, including Open Bible missionaries, field directors, Global Missions board members, and special guests from around the world gathered in Frisco, Texas, two days before the 2023 Open Bible National Convention to take part in a special Field Directors Congress.
As a result of the COVID pandemic, many of our pastors, missionaries, and other national leaders endured some very challenging, difficult times. The Department of Global Missions’ goal was to bring these key leaders together to “Rejuvenate” them and to provide them with tools to help them not only overcome the obstacles of these challenging times but to also to thrive and grow. We wanted to provide the training and atmosphere for our leaders to rise up as if on eagles’ wings and to be rejuvenated and empowered to fulfill God’s calling on their lives and help their ministries grow.
The Bible says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).
Our special presenters included Open Bible President Randall Bach, who shared “Principles of Servant Leadership”; Pastor Terry Reilley from Creekside Open Bible Church in Martinez, California, who talked about “Building a Ministry Dream Team”; Pastor Karl Francis, pastor of Living Word Open Bible Church in Cooper City, Florida, who shared on “Faith Works”; Aaron Keller and David Bethany of MOVE Ministries; Drs. Nick and Leona Venditti, co-founders of INSTE Global Bible College, who shared on “Finishing Well”; and finally, Pastor Monte LeLaCheur from Turning Point Open Bible Church in Spokane, Washington, who taught about “Staying Healthy in Ministry.”
It was a beautiful time of reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. We could feel the unity and camaraderie among everyone. We all needed this time to share together especially after the separation anxiety created by the pandemic.
We closed our two days of meetings by asking the Global Missions Board members and Open Bible’s Executive Leadership Team to pray for our missionaries and other international guests. We praise God for the mighty outpouring of His Spirit and for the renewed vision and focus attendees experienced as they were empowered to continue the work of the Great Commission.
I praise the Lord for making our Field Directors Congress so successful. I thank my wife, Lois, who helped set up the translation schedule and assisted in so many other areas as well. We thank Pastors Pablo and Ximena Urra, pastors of Templo de la Biblia Abierta in Miami, Florida, for helping us organize the distribution of the translation equipment. I am grateful to Areli Estrada, my executive assistant, who worked so hard before, during, and after the Field Directors Congress and National Convention, and to all our volunteers.
Thank you so much to Pastor Duane and Rachel Sayre for their help during our entire time in Frisco. They eased the load in so many ways by assisting with transportation, setting up and organizing all the schedules, and so much more! We are grateful for our translators, who translated all the major events into the “heavenly” language (Spanish) 😀: Lois McCarty; Pastor Frank Contreras, pastor of Primera Iglesia de la Biblia in Rosemead, California; Areli Estrada; Pastor Edgar Figueroa, pastor of First Spanish Church of the Open Bible in Hialeah, Florida; and Pastor Gina Reyna, co-pastor of Agape Church of the Open Bible in Urbandale, Iowa.
We thank our drivers: missionary Del Brown; MOVE Director Aaron Keller; Dustin Hanson from First Church of the Open Bible in Clear Lake, Iowa; Pastor Will Hunsaker, pastor of First Church of the Open Bible in Clear Lake, Iowa; missionary Mike Lumbard; Areli Estrada; and Pastor Duane Sayre.
I greatly appreciate all our Global Missions board members who attended our Field Directors Congress and interacted with our missionaries and national field directors from around the world.
We are excited about the future of Global Missions, and I look forward to serving with you all as we see the great things God will do through us and Open Bible’s works around the world.
We thank all our pastors, churches, and other individuals who gave so sacrificially to the Global Harvest offering “Rejuvenate.” Your generosity made it possible for us to host this special event. Thank you so much!