By Emily Empson
ICOM (International Conference on Missions) is coming to Kansas City, Missouri, November 14-17. Psalm 67 beautifully describes the focus and theme of this year’s conference, “Glorifying God Globally.”
Conference president Jair Castillo, founder of Vida Nueva Ministries, sees the conference as a weekend full of joyful celebration for our Lord. Latin spark and flavor will permeate the entire conference. We pray this praise-filled weekend is uplifting for everyone who attends and encourages the spirits of those who will be returning to the field.
The talented and dynamic Mariachi Damas de Jalisco, an all-woman mariachi band, will open the conference Thursday night. Main sessions will challenge us to praise God as we share Christ around the world. A special Global Celebration is planned for Saturday morning. It will be a session you will not want to miss.
ICOM is committed to instilling the importance of global missions in our children and youth. We offer child care throughout the weekend for babies through fifth grade. They will have worship times, crafts, games, and entertainment provided by Kansas City-area churches. We love seeing kids at ICOM and the family-friendly feel of the conference is something we want to keep.
A Place for Adults
One of my favorite things about ICOM is the exhibit hall. I can still recall going through the booths with my sister and making origami dolls for four hours one day! It is one of my favorite times because you get to see what kind of work God is doing across the world. Booths range from China to Chile, urban America to urban Europe, and Australia to Africa, all displaying what is going on in their corner of the world. It’s inspiring to see the many different types of work going on around the world, all working for the glory of God. Adults and kids alike will make lasting memories.
Emily Paine from Joplin, Missouri, writes,
ICOM has been instrumental in my faith since I began attending at the age of 8. During the student sessions I learned about God’s passion for the world and served by building walls and preparing meal packets. Exhibit hall “scavenger hunts” gave me a chance to interact with mission groups, which led to short-term mission trips that changed my life. I always looked forward to ICOM as a kid . . . and I still do!
No matter your age or position in life, something will catch your attention in the ICOM exhibit hall. If you are looking for a place to serve, ICOM offers an intern exchange, a program shared among many missionary organizations. Booth numbers of participating ministries are listed at the exchange so you can easily find them.
Even if you are not sure where God is leading you, there is no better place to be than in the exhibit hall. Visit the nearly 550 booths staffed by Christian servants who have responded to God’s call upon their lives and talk to them about where he might be leading you.
Perhaps you’re looking to be a prayer partner for an organization in need. Whatever your situation, spending time in the exhibit hall will make for a fantastic intercultural learning experience.
A Place for Youth
SICOM (Student International Conference on Missions) brings junior and senior high school students together for a separate program (formerly known as Windows of the World). This year we are joining with OASIS, the former Kansas Christian Teen Convention, for a combined conference. The theme for this year’s student conference is “Immeasurably More.” Student Director Jim Chamberlin and the leaders of OASIS are working to make the weekend unforgettable.
Mark Moore is the speaker for SICOM this year and we are excited to have him on board. The weekend will also feature the Jordan Howerton Band during the student worship sessions. Both Mark and the Jordan Howerton Band will bring a great sense of passion for Christ to the student conference weekend.
SICOM is different from most student conferences. The hands-on approach allows students to engage in acts of service during the weekend. Wall building is one of the most popular activities at SICOM. Here students build walls that will be sent to a mission needing a new house or building. Students will be encouraged to sign their names on the walls and to write a note or an encouraging verse on the boards that will one day surround the people using the building. Meal packing is another great opportunity for students. They’ll use packing machines and measure the ingredients themselves to provide meals for the poor. It’s a good reality check to see the small rations of food some people eat in a day.
Jim Chamberlin says,
Youth ministers use SICOM for many reasons. Some bring their leadership students while others see it as an opportunity to give students a taste of missions coupled with a great conference. My hope is that students will walk away asking, “What does God want me to do with my life?” When they ask that question, it unleashes the sovereignty of God in their life. He’s already done the work of saving us. . . . With people who surrender to his sovereignty, he can change the world.
These hands-on activities help students see the need that is so present in our world today. Even if your child doesn’t attend with a youth group, he or she can still participate in these activities. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity for your students.
A Place for Everyone
The ICOM family is made up of people who are passionate about what God is doing around the globe. More than 85 percent of the people who attend ICOM are families, college students, and people like you and me. We treasure the family atmosphere that is evident during the conference.
We’ve worked hard to make ICOM an affordable conference. A family registration costs only $30.
ICOM maintains a laser-sharp focus—encouraging those who presently serve on the mission field, equipping those who are getting ready to go, and recruiting new workers for the harvest.
We invite you to this year’s ICOM in Kansas City, Missouri, November 14-17 for a weekend of praise and celebration. We hope to see you there!
Emily Empson is executive assistant at ICOM in Clayton, Indiana.
Pray for the Whole World
Discover more about unreached people through the Joshua Project (joshuaproject.net), “a research initiative seeking to highlight the ethnic people groups with the fewest followers of Jesus Christ.”