It didn't started out with much of a bang. I was pretty down from all the pressures of being back in school, and there was a huge snowstorm coming our way. Our original time of departure was 2 PM, but we ended up leaving around 3 PM due to the terrible weather. It took us another two-and-a-half hours to get out of Downtown Chicago, so we knew we weren't going anywhere. To be down right honest, I was not in my spirit for the first 10 minutes of the car ride. But there is something special about being with brothers in a confined space. Liiiiiiiife just starts seeping in here and there, and soon enough, I was warmed up to utter prayers desperate for recovery. It was kind of like a Romans-8:26-groaning. Probably by the eleventh of twelve minute, we were well-burned by our prayers. I felt so revived, that all the thoughts about missing the first night were drowned. We prayed to gain our enjoyment of the now-Christ - the Christ that was allotted as our portion that afternoon in our car ride. We prayed for the atmosphere of the conference. We prayed for the safety of all the saints. And we realized that all Satan could do was release more of the flow.
Eventually, we found out that the speaking brothers were also stuck because of the weather, so there wasn't going to be anything missed on Friday night. With that in thought, we decided that it was probably better to leave Saturday morning when the snow should have stopped and the roads cleared.
The Lord truly knows how to cherish us, as He led us to a home gathering in downtown to blend with some of the families that live close to UIC. This was a sweet time. Besides eating a LOT of great food, we got to spend some quality-human times with the saints, hearing about each others' day, telling testimonies, and sharing laughs.
|Shabu-Shabu at Downtown Home Gathering|
Saturday morning started out very early for us. Cold pizza, cookies, coffee, and icy roads. We left downtown around 6:30 AM and headed south to Camp Tecumseh. Again, I just have to say that all Satan can do is hold the flow, but what he doesn't realize is that when you hold a flow, it just want to burst out even more! So this 6:30 AM car-ride was not like any other 6:30 AM car-ride. It was a time filled with the exercise of the spirit. Singing. Reading the word in prayer. More singing. Pizza stuffing. Coffee sipping. Singing. Fellowship. More pray-reading. Our car spent some quality time in Colossians chapter 1, taking the Word in slow nibble-bites, squeezing as much as juice as possible.
|Cold Pizza + Icy Road on the way to Tecumseh|
Anyhow, we arrived at Camp Tecumseh around 9:30-ish? And the rest is history. I'll share a bit regarding the topic of the conference, which was Christ our portion. We see that the portion Paul speaks of in Colossians is our all-inclusive Christ portrayed as all the riches of the good land in Deuteronomy 8. He is the waters, He is the plants, He is the minerals, He is everything! And our share of the portion is that we get to explore this land! All these items are a picture, or you can say a shadow, of the real thing, Christ. If you can see someone's shadow, you can eventually follow that shadow to reach the real person. Well, all these marvelous pictures that we see around us, is to remind us that we should enjoy Christ! That's awesome that Christ is all these things, but practically, how do we receive, or where can we go to receive Him as all these items? The practical way to apply Christ as the reality of all positive things is in the Word. The Word is where we find Christ. Actually, we should never separate "searching the Scriptures" with "coming to Him", for the Scriptures speak concerning Him. We come to the Word to meet with a Person and converse with this Person. He has spoken to us through the Word, and we should respond to Him by our prayer. Well, what is all this receiving for? It's not for us to hoard all these resources for ourselves, but to minister it to others. Did you discover those streams in the valleys? You need to minister that to those who may find themselves in a low situation. Did you find barley in the land? You need to minister that to those who may be in a dead condition. Minister, but be wary to not minister letters, but the Spirit. Practically and humanly speaking, this requires us to have a genuine heart of care for the ones to whom we want to minister to.
This is my third college conference in the Midwest, and even in my short stay, I can see the progress and growth of life in the Midwest. Statistically speaking, attendance numbers have been increasing from around 150 to 200 to 260 this year. Of course, numbers don't speak everything. The exercise of the spirit has also been increasing more and more. Praise the Lord for the coordination of all the serving ones who are taking care of the college students. It's their coordination that brings in the blessing, and their faithfulness to sow and water that brings God to cause the growth.
|Brothers - Midwest College Conference 2012|
|Sisters - Midwest College Conference 2012|