It is an awesome thing to be involved with a ministry that has a global pulpit, and is a prophetic voice to the nations. We're still receiving so many amazing praise reports from the GPF Interfaith Service earlier this month, and we continue to gain new members at CITN who are a part of the international community. Our cyber-congregation is thriving, and the streaming of the services over the internet blesses people around the world every week. We are also ever evolving in our understanding of diversity, and the role that we, as the Body of Christ, are playing in that dimension, as we tear down walls and build bridges.
Here are some updates on what is happening in the world of CITN...
Thanks for praying about the trip to Korea with my dad. As I told you a few days ago, I've been invited to speak at the International Leadership Conference in Seoul, that will convene on November 6-10. The ILC is different from the Global Peace Festival, in that it involves ambassadors, heads of state, and people in government more than ministers and faith leaders, so it's a real honor for a minister to be invited as a speaker. The theme of the conference is "Toward a New Paradigm of Leadership and Good Governance”, and I'm very excited to be a part of it.
Anyway, they've invited my dad to come with me as their guest, and it's going to work out fine with his and my schedule to do it. He was able, after all, to get a new passport (it should be here day after tomorrow), and he's having cataract surgery on this coming Tuesday, so he will be recuperated enough by then to go.
There will be a GPF at the end of the conference, and then he and I are going to spend an extra day in Seoul to visit Dr. Cho's church - the largest church in the world - and to go to his Prayer Mountain (I've never been). This will be the first trip that dad and I have taken together in over 25 years, so we're really looking forward to it. Thanks again for praying, because the Lord has definitely worked out the details.
Thanks, also, for receiving Bishop Tommy yesterday, and for ministering to him at the alter, and for giving in his offering. As he admitted at the end of his sermon, he was having a bit of a struggle in his preaching, but I want you to know that everything is OK with him. He's just been working very hard the last few weeks here in the states, raising funds for the ministry there in Ozamiz City, and is very ready to get home to his beautiful wife and children. His return has been delayed a week, so that he can preach in one more church before he leaves, and those extra days, though necessary, make things more difficult for everyone concerned. I really wish that he had shown some pictures of what they are doing there, because you would be very impressed to the see the pictoral evidence of the fruit of their labor.
I'll be going there at the end of January to do the UNITE! Conference for the pastors and leaders who network with him. For those of you who might be interested in going with me, I'll be leaving on Monday, the 26th (1/26/09), and the meetings will take place on Wednesday through Friday (1/28 - 1/30). Then I'll stay and preach at The Sanctuary (his church) on Sunday, February 1, and return to the states the next day.
The conference will be similar to the one we did in Uganda last month, and I'll be ordaining several pastors on that Sunday like we did at Pastor Ben's church in Kampala. Speaking of Uganda, I'm looking forward to meeting with all of the Uganda team this coming Wednesday night after church.
I really love connecting with pastors in this way. In fact, I prefer these types of meetings to the typical crusades that most American pastors hold in foregin countries. To me, building relationships is what it's all about, which is why I want to do an annual leadership conference in both the Philippines and Uganda, indefinitely. I haven't firmed up the exact dates for Uganda next year, but Pastor Ben and I have discussed the first week in September.
We discussed this last night at the Care Pastors' meeting, but I want to reiterate how important it is right now to keep the United States lifted up in prayer. Aside from the current financial situation (which I personally believe is going to reveal great things in and for the Kingdom of God), this election year has brought about acute division and extreme polarization in this country.
Now, I want you all to be informed, and of course I want you to vote...but more than anything else I want you to pray...and to set an example of love and harmony...and to build bridges...and to be peacemakers. I love the Republicans and I love the Democrats (and the Independents and the Libertarians)...but more than that, I love America, and I don't want to see it divided on November 5 (I'll actually be flying to Korea on that day, but I'll be here in spirit).
Anyway, vote your conscience and your convictions in the election, but do what you can to promote unity. And whoever moves into the White House on January 20, make the decision to respect him as your President, and to pray for him as the Scriptures tell us to do.
"We speak to nations, the Kingdom is coming near to you, we speak to you... BE FREE!"
Have a blessed day!