OM’s Step Out conference is the only Chinese-English short-term event in Asia that gives practical missions training and hands-on experience.
The leaders of Step Out want to see participants encounter God personally in new ways and learn to be witnesses among those who don’t know Jesus in this part of the world. As the OM Step Out conference came to a close in Taiwan last August, ministry leaders concluded that the year’s “Breakthrough” theme was appropriate for many who attended.
Breakthroughs in their personal relationships with God
Not only did the conference exceed expectations in numbers – with around 180 participants, staff, volunteers and speakers attending – many leaders and participants reported breakthroughs in their personal relationships with God.
“Make yourselves become a message of the gospel” – conference leader
“This is also the purpose of the conference—make yourselves become a message of the gospel,” said one leader. “Only when we have a good relationship with God, can we share the gospel with others.”
In the main meetings and the devotional times, program speakers focused on seeing breakthrough in participants’ spiritual lives. Even the main speaker, Samuel*, experienced a breakthrough. Early in the event, participants were asked to write their name on a notecard and introduce themselves to a new friend. The new friend had to take that name card and, in turn, introduce himself to another new person using that name card. By the end, everyone was left holding the name card of someone else, and probably someone they hadn’t met yet. They were instructed to pray for that person during the conference.
At the end of the second evening, a young participant approached Samuel and asked him to pray for her. When Samuel asked how he could pray, she said, “I don’t know why; I just want to ask you to pray for me.” When she told Samuel her name, he recognized it right away. He took the name card out of his pocket and asked, “Is this you?” Tears fell from the girl’s eyes and Samuel prayed for her, now not just a name, but a known person.
A 71-year-old woman from the US attended, confessing her struggle to respond to God’s call to missions. Even so, she had come to the conference and was an encouragement to many younger participants.
A witness to the community
Hsin-Chu Bible College has hosted the Step Out conference for three years. In that time, locals have become familiar with it and its participants from all over the world, whom they encountered when participants went on outreach. Later, when the international outreach teams went out to sample the local food, many of the shop owners exclaimed, “It’s you again!”
“I want to join the conference and the outreach next year!” – daughter of the Hsin-Chu Bible College president
The president and the manager of Hsin-Chu Bible College also were touched to see believers from around the world gathered together, worshiping the Lord and ready to serve Him. Both of them attended the closing service held on the final evening, with their families. The president told OM workers that his daughter was very touched by the conference and had let him know, “I want to join the conference and the outreach next year!” We expect that will be a break-through experience for her and others joining her from across the globe when they gather at the next Step Out conference to ready themselves for effective witness and mission.
* Names changed for security reasons