The Joys of the Shepherds’ Conference

2017 has been an eventful year.  With travel to Singapore, Japan, Israel, Jordan, and throughout the United States, time seems to have gone by quickly.  This is one of the reasons why I enjoy looking back at the kindness of the Lord over the years.

What is the Shepherds’ Conference

For over a decade, God has used the Shepherds’ Conference in a unique and special way in my life.  The mission of the Shepherds’ Conference is, “to provide the opportunity for men in church leadership to be challenged in their commitment to biblical ministry and to find encouragement as together we seek to become more effective servants of our chief Shepherd.”  For me personally, it has accomplished that mission and so much more.

Dad2006 Shepherds’ Conference

My wife, Jordan, is the greatest treasure the Lord has given me apart from the gift of salvation!  During the 2006 Shepherds’ Conference, I had a conversation that would change my life.  Jordan and I had initially met about 5 months earlier and it had become apparent that we were going to be friends for a very long time (or a lifetime, in my assessment).  Jordan’s father just so happened to be serving as a volunteer at the Shepherds’ Conference and this was where I asked him for permission to pursue a relationship with Jordan.  The conversation went well!  This June, Jordan and I will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary!

2015 Shepherds’ Conference

After multiple visits to Fiji, Jordan and I had developed a SC Premendspecific love for the people in the South Pacific.  In 2015, the Lord provided the means for Dr. Narayan Nair and Premend Choy to attend the Shepherds’ Conference.  During this wonderful time, God guided the conversation with these godly men to establish Jordan and my direction to begin to prepare to serve alongside them as missionaries in Fiji!

SC Bryan2016 Shepherds’ Conference

As many of you know, some of the greatest joys at the Shepherds’ Conference occur in seemingly chance meetings with strangers.  A friend of mine saw Jordan and Taj visiting during lunch and decided to introduce me to his friend who is the Director of International Outreach at Joni and Friends.  After spending over an hour talking about biblical counseling and international ministry, the Lord presented me with a new ministry opportunity.  A couple weeks later, I became the new International Church Relations Manager for Joni and Friends where I am currently working as we prepare for Fiji!

2017 Shepherds’ Conference

This year’s Shepherds’ Conference brought so many dear friends together from all over the world!  It was incredible to spend time with my brothers-in-law, outlaws (what we affectionately call extended-extended family), our church family, former classmates, and past/current/& future ministry partners.  In addition to sweet fellowship, the Lord provided additional supporters to come alongside us financially, so we are now at 50% of our monthly need to begin our ministry in Fiji!

These highlights provide just a glimpse of the joy experienced within the context of the Shepherds’ Conference.  It is a wonderful thing to have this reminder of God’s kindness, while looking back at His innumerable blessings and continued faithfulness!

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