On a brisk weekend in February, more than 500 people from across the globe gathered in a conference center just north of Atlanta, Georgia, with one unified goal – to end Gospel poverty.
Held at The Hotel at Avalon, the annual Global Leadership Summit allowed Haggai leaders and ministry partners to gather in celebration and fellowship. More importantly, the summit allowed those in attendance to learn from one another, challenge each other, and cast a bold vision for the next decade.
In her opening remarks on Friday evening, Haggai CEO Dr. Bev Upton Williams laid out the work ahead – Haggai International will equip 250,000 additional leaders over the next 10 years, more than twice the number catalyzed since 1969.
As audacious as it may sound, this is not an idealistic hope, but an urgent necessity. In 2020, 250 children are born every minute. And without action, 63 of those children will not hear the Gospel in their lifetime.
Over the course of the weekend, Haggai leaders from Uganda, Mexico, South Africa, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines shared powerful testimonies of their work addressing government corruption, food insecurity, human trafficking, and more. One keynote speaker, whose name and country cannot be identified, risked his safety and livelihood to report on ministry efforts in one of the most complicated regions of the world.
The weekend concluded on Saturday evening with the Ending Gospel Poverty Gala.
In a picturesque ballroom lit with candles and shimmering chandeliers, a multimedia presentation of video, music, and spoken testimonies challenged the audience to act on behalf of the 2.1 billion souls alive today who have never heard the Good News.
As the Atlanta International Children’s Choir closed the evening with the praise song “What a Beautiful Name,” attendees gave sacrificially to make sure that people they may never meet this side of heaven have the chance to hear the name of Jesus.
To end the evening, one of our Haggai leaders used her time on the stage to share about the care she developed in a war-torn Muslim community in an Asian nation. To express her gratitude to the guests, she shared hundreds of brightly-colored scarves made by women thankful for the generosity of partners half a world away.
As she presented guests with their beautiful gifts, she declared, “There are thousands of us out there, and their stories are your stories; we are all in this together.”