Jackie Pullinger: God will use us
Christians gathered together at the WEC headquarters in Buckinghamshire over the weekend for the missions conference GO2013.
They heard stories of missionaries' triumphs in bringing the gospel to the lost and had the opportunity to discover how they too can get involved in missions.
They were encouraged to spread God's word within their communities and transform lives.
A variety of missions organisations from around the world were present at the conference offering resources and advice.
Guest speaker Jackie Pullinger delivered her testimony of how God has used her to change the lives of drug addicts and victims of human trafficking in Hong Kong.
"After drug trafficking and weapons trafficking, human trafficking is now the most lucrative industry.
"There are more slaves than there has ever been in history. Approximately 800,000 new slaves are trafficked across borders every year," she said.
Touched by what she had witnessed in Hong Kong, Pullinger was determined to make a difference.
"I prayed 'Dear Lord, it would be worth my whole life if you would use me to save just one of them, I want to be in your purpose."
She added: "God wants to save men, He wants to save the girls who are raped and even the ones who do it. He wants men everywhere to be saved and he will use us."
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Included in the programme was also a selection of interactive, thought provoking seminars. Titled 'Is the Gospel really good news for everyone?', Redcliffe College lecturer Dan Button offered fresh perspectives on evangelism.
"There are many different ways to present the Gospel to people. The gospel needs to be seen as good news to every culture, people group, language, nationality and even each person's particular needs," he said.
"How do we love strangers? The UK has become this multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, pluralistic society filled with people of all religions and no religion.
"How do we engage with someone who is very different from ourselves? Once you engage with someone, it leads to a relationship. They'll want to get to know you better and then you have a platform for discussion. When they want to get to know you , who are they getting know? Christ, because Christ is in us."
He added: "Love is intentional and it requires action, it is not a feeling, it is an awareness of those around us and a purposeful desire to break into their world and to understand them."
Button highlighted the importance of knowing where our hope comes from as Christians.
"This is where we reach the heart of the gospel, it is all about Jesus. Jesus is our Gospel message. One must be convinced that the gospel is good news, otherwise they will be trying to convince someone about something they haven't really taken hold of."
Another guest speaker at this year's conference was Andy Hawthorne, evangelist, author and leader of The Message Trust, based in Manchester. Born out of concerts and outreach to schools, it now spans tough urban communities and prisons.
Hawthorne made a request for the conference guests to "pray for missionaries around the world spreading the gospel, reaching out to the lost, to those who have yet to hear about Jesus".