Written by Apryl Gehling, Kansas City Fellow- Class of 2015-2016
We just got back from taking a 17 hour bus ride to North Carolina for the Micah 6:8 Conference with multiple fellows groups from various cities. This long ride was filled with excellent discussion about where we gain our identity and value in our formative years, orchestrated by Kris Fernhout.
(RIGHT:We weren’t always in conversation)
This discussion ended up being the perfect segue into the conference theme. Our speaker was John Richmond, a federal prosecutor for the US Department of Justice and formerly of IJM (International Justice Mission) who works in human trafficking to abolish the slave trade.
With many compelling stories, John posed the idea of our purpose and identity in life being based in Christ rather than performance. He charged us with the truth “The fellows program is not a self-improvement program to make better, nicer, smarter people”. God doesn’t love us more when we are good or love us less when we are bad, rather he loves us because that is who He is.
This gives us the freedom to fail and starts us out with the right mentality of humility. As John puts it, “We are completely insignificant apart from Christ and we are eternally valuable because of Him”. He also equipped us by explaining that God can do great things through us even if we don’t have experience or expertise in the field to which He is calling us, as well as encouraging us to pursue His plan because the cost of not doing so was far greater than the cost of following through with it. Others gain from what God is able to accomplish through us, making it inherently selfish to withhold that right.
All in all, it was a great conference filled with a lot of fun and good teaching. It was particularly exciting to see how we all bonded over the road trip because, after all, spending over 30 hours in a car together is bound to create some interesting conversations, and in our case closer friendships. Hopefully we will be able to recuperate as we get back to our regular work schedules.
Please keep us in your prayers!