The focus was global, but the gathering felt like close family as hundreds attended the four-day International Conference on Missions last week in Peoria, IL. Summit Christian College made the 12-hour drive this year with four staff, nine students and one alumni. For some, it was a repeat, and others, a first-time immersion into culture and Kingdom service. First-year students Wyatt Wolfswinkel said he developed a sincere interest for mission work in Russia, while Chuks Morah was excited for the opportunity to gain a personal understanding about the impact mission work has had in his homeland.
"When I was growing up in Nigeria, we had many missionaries visit us. They just always seemed to be around. But now I understand better why they came and what they were doing. Their work has had a great impact on me and my country," he said.
College staff, faculty and alumni used the conference to meet and network with new colleagues or to reconnect with old friends. Many organizations approached the Summit Christian College booth to offer information on student internship and missionary opportunities. The students said the event helped expand their hearts and visions for their own interests in mission and Kingdom work.
The overall spirit of the conference was summed up by ICOM 2017 President Enoch Nyador, who said, "Together, we are here to worship the Lord of the Harvest, to encourage and be encouraged, to equip and be equipped and to enlist into God's global harvest team either as those who go or those who send others to the mission field."
Nyador also challenged those faithful to pray for the 6,996 remaining unreached people groups of the globe who are waiting to receive the Gospel.
"Yes, we need to work together more in our local churches, states and countries to start or grow existing churches but the topmost priority for all of us in missions must be to send the Gospel to remaining unreached people groups wherever they are," Nyador said.
More information about the world's unreached people groups can be found at joshuaproject.net.
Full coverage of the ICOM can be found at theicom.org.
ICOM 2017 President Enoch Nyador, center, greets Summit Christian College President David Parrish, left, and student Chuks Morah during the International Conference on Missions held Nov. 16-19 in Peoria, IL.