My wife and I recently attended the Global Leadership Conference for FCCI (www.fcci.org) on Amelia Island. Rather than give a report, let me share an experience. This was the third conference that Joann and I have attended. I expected another enjoyable time with old and new friends as well as the opportunity to hear some great speakers. Honestly, I was also hoping to identify one or two situations that might lead to some new business for me.
As is frequently the case in my life, God had another plan.
Bruce Wilkinson arrived Wednesday morning as an unexpected (but very welcome) speaker on the agenda. He shared that he had not planned on being there. In fact, he had repeatedly told Terence that his schedule would not permit his attending.
He explained that he had returned from 7 weeks in Africa just a few days before the conference and been awakened three times in one night dreaming about FCCI. The next morning he called Terence and shared this and asked “what do you want me to do?” Terence replied “come speak at the conference.”
Bruce agreed and met with Terence Wednesday morning with the sense that God wanted him to challenge the group (600 people) to take action. Bruce told us that he believed God wanted to raise up 100 people in the room to stand up, come forward, and pledge to visit another country within the next 12 months to work with and equip Christian business owners. The people were to go in groups of four and also commit to returning to the same country a second and third year.
He asked us to close our eyes and prayerfully listen to hear if God was calling us to a particular country. So I did.
Now what you should know about me is that I am Catholic. Never been on a mission trip. No desire to go on one. Never really evangelized anyone or brought them to Christ. So….I kept hearing “UGANDA” going off in my head like a drum. I turned to my wife Joann and said… “I’m going”. She said “You’re not?” and was in shock knowing how out of character this was for me. Anyway, up I went… along with more than 110 other people!
This all happened on Wednesday morning. By that afternoon, I’m already having second thoughts… What have I done? Why Uganda and not Norway, Sweden or Denmark? I don’t know anything about Uganda… etc.
That evening, still in a small emotional uproar about this, I logged onto Facebook and the first person that shows up is a high school classmate of mine who I haven’t seen or talked to in years. Retired Delta pilot… guess where he was? Africa! Is now a minister who ministers to and trains other pastors. Has lots of connection in Uganda. OK God. I get it! Africa is not impossible… and it’s time to get back home.