2017 Conference!

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

It's 2017 and this year it is a very short trip with a very targeted purpose. To present at the Minister's Equipping Conference. Our focus: Souls in Our Care, Connecting Counseling and Pastoring.

As always your prayers and comments are definitely coveted and encouraged!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Conference Completed!

    This was an experience I will long remember and cherish.  There was literally a record turn out according to Celia's calculations of past MEC conferences till now.  It flowed in a seamless way from presentation to presentation.  We kicked things off on Thursday with my presentation to set the stage for pastoral counseling.  Pastor Fred was next up to discuss his use of counseling in his work as a pastor and in conjunction with our Branches ministry at Gateway.  Friday morning Pastor Fred preached at the campus chapel.  Friday night at the conference,  I again led with a brief presentation on encouraging the stories of others which was followed by Jim Sawyer.  He gave a spectacular theological talk about shame and its connection to the shepherding call.   Today our morning focused on skill building and the afternoon ended with a panel discussion where the on campus counselor Kaki, and two former students of the seminary counseling class joined us.
   The discussions were rich, particularly this afternoon.  I was deeply touched as one of my students on the panel talked about how his learning about counseling has impacted his life in very profound and practical ways.  Kaki gave an impassioned call to her fellow islanders to step up and seriously embrace caring for souls  in the face of tough issues that have long been culturally avoided.
   Pastor Fred noted ...what has been happening here is changing that aspect of culture.  There were many moments where I couldn't help tearing up.   It is difficult to capture how profoundly grateful I am to be part of this.
   On another note the work team from Gateway arrived late yesterday.  So today we ended our day by joining them for a late afternoon snorkel and group dinner at Dr. Kabob (my island fave)!  God gifted us with a stunning rainbow and ethereal light cast on the cliffs.  A near perfect day!  Some photo's attached.

Chamorro Villiage with Jim Sawyer, Howard & Kathy Merrel

One of the extraordinary table decorations done by PIU students

First Night - Defining Soul Care

Pastor Fred weighs in on counselling

"The largest turnout of any Ministry Equipping Conference to date"

Fred at Friday Chapel

Friday Night..encouraging their story....

Jim brings in the theological foundations. . .

Saturday morning skill building held at the Palm Ridge Hotel.

Hard at work. . .

Demonstration session. . .

A moment with Mar. . .

Panel discussion. . .

Gateway team leader Eric Kvamme. . .

Always happy to swim with the fishies. . .

Dinner at Dr. Kababs. .


  1. I am really sad that I missed this.

    1. We too were sad you weren't there, but you were there in spirit as far as everyone was concerned! Missed you much!