Family reunions! What memories did that conjure up for you? I am sure some memories caused you to be reflective, others caused you to laugh, and brought some people to mind that are near and dear to your heart. Those wonderful annual family reunions completely stopped during COVID-19; even Christmas and Easter holidays left us separated from people we loved!
When that season was over, and we were able to resume those gatherings, my heart was filled with gratitude. I realized that something I took for granted was so much more precious than I had recognized in years past. Now the moments with friends and family seemed richer, had a greater depth to the conversations — and the laughter — what a sweet sound to my ears. It was as if I had been living in a black and white movie, and now everything was on an iMax screen in vivid, 3-D colors!
The morning of June 26, 2023, was one of those times. I stood in a room with 31 men from 21 nations, with faculty I had not seen for more than four years, and with our equipping team — Arthur, Sreedhar, Joey. Imagine how it felt to open the door to the room where the first in-person Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) since COVID-19 was taking place. The worship had already begun. The leaders were playing music, singing, and to my great delight, the Africans were dancing. And, within seconds, one woman joined the chorus of hallelujahs being sent up to the throne of God, tears of gratitude streaming down her face, thanking Him for restoring what had been lost for a season. The Haggai family was at last reunited!
You were there, too! Your prayers for this ministry, your support that funded equipping these leaders, and the passions of your hearts to see the name of Jesus lifted up to the nations were all in that room. Over the days that ensued, I told them about you — that it was your generosity that made this experience possible for them. I told them that you were so very grateful for your partnership with them — and how I was grateful, too — and that some of us would go to tell the nations about Jesus if we could. They smiled when I said that, and I surmise they were thinking about how much a blue-eyed, blonde American could accomplish in their nations in advancing the Gospel. And time and time again they expressed their gratitude for the opportunity you had given them and how much the HLE was impacting their lives.
I heard their plans, their goals for demonstrating and presenting the Gospel, and how they would raise up others and equip them to reach their nations. I listened to how they would expand their Kingdom work, or even start organizations to reach specific groups through serving and meeting needs. Most of all, I saw the passion that had been stirred up as they prayed, listened for the still small voice of God speaking His vision for their lives, and shared their plans with each other to commit to attempt something so great for God in their own nations.
Your influence has now spread to 21 nations. Please know that the seeds that you have sown through these leaders will multiply and bear fruit for the Kingdom. They need your prayers as they move forward to accomplish all that God has asked of them in the days ahead.
Thank you for your partnership in seeing every nation redeemed and transformed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
For the Gospel,
Dr. Bev Williams
CEO, Haggai International
This article was written for the Winter 2023 edition of Impact magazine. To read or download it, click here.