by guest blogger, Emmanuel Adomako
Hi, my name is Emmanuel Adomako from Ghana, West Africa. I am a graduate student at Lancaster Bible College/Capital Seminary and Graduate School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
To put words to thoughts in describing my personal experience at the 28th World Christian Endeavor Convention, I would say, “Truly, the time to Open Up and Go Out is now!” Although the World Christian Endeavor Convention has been going on for many years now, this was my first experience attending one. It was a blessing to serve as a speaker and small group leader during the event held in San Diego, California, July 25-29, 2018.
One reminiscence moment of the convention that will stay with me for a long time in ministry is when I literally saw “heaven opened” during worship time and felt the kind of hope and joy that is found in Christ alone, raining over God’s people like the dew of heaven. Yes, my heart was filled with inexplicable joy when I saw delegates from all walks of life singing Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch’s song: “I’ll fly away. To that home on God’s celestial shore. I’ll fly away. I’ll fly away, oh glory. I’ll fly away in the morning. When I die, Hallelujah by and by I’ll fly away.” Instantly I knew with every fiber of my being that the banner of our Lord Jesus is rising among His people across the nations of the world with no fear, no regret, and no shame and with no apology. We are standing for the cause of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with no shame.
Now, by a careful observation, I realized that God is using Christian Endeavor around the globe as a discipleship tool and a strategic catalyst to bring young people into a relationship with Jesus, build them up with the Word, and release them out to fulfill their unique Kingdom mandate. A scripture that best describes my kind of experience during the convention is Matthew 28:19-20. In this passage, we are inspired, encouraged and charged to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (NKJV). In the last two verses of Matthew, Jesus instructs His disciples to carry on the work He began in Israel. They are to go throughout the world just as we were equipped and encouraged to share the word of God beyond our small group meetings, workshops and open-air night gatherings at the convention. We are to share the word of God to “all nations” and spread the truth of His good works so that everyone may know and be saved. The last phrase in the scripture reminds me of our General Secretary’s message titled: “Go Out Now!” because “I am with you always, to the end of the age” says Jesus and preached by Dr. Dave Coryell. This is tremendously comforting to me as a child of God and a young Christian leader who is currently preparing for the Gospel ministry in Africa. I feel super-excited that God willing, in the summer of 2019, I will be heading back home with my family to start and lead a new wave of Christian Endeavor in Ghana for God’s glory. Yes, it’s refreshing to know that no matter where God leads us, we will never have to doubt that His presence is and will be with us.
In light of my experience, I would like to intentionally pause and say thank you to Madam Etta Barner who generously and sacrificially supported me and a host of other Christian Endeavor volunteers to serve at the convention. Also, I would like to say thank you to my professor, friend, and mentor in Christ, Dr. Dave Coryell for inviting me and stretching me to think and live biblically as I serve Christ in the church and society.
Overall, the 28th World Christian Endeavor Convention in San Diego, California was inspiring, encouraging, educational and practical. There was no doubt that God was present with His people in the midst of all the high and low steams. I left inspired, encouraged and better equipped to lead. I would like to personally challenge all young Christian leaders to attend the next conference in Germany, 2022. I definitely plan on being there again to serve the body of Christ in whatever capacity as the Lord would use me for His glory. Blessings!