“Missions Fest Southern California,” a free regional missions conference, is scheduled for November 12-14 of this year. This year’s fest will have approximately 100 missions agencies setting up exhibits providing information about their work in countries around the world.
Missions Fest is often described as a catalyst to enable people to catch a vision of the Great Commission spoken by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20, and to help people find a place where their interests and abilities can best be put to use. Its three-fold purpose is to inform, celebrate and challenge people of all ages to get involved in missions by sending, praying, giving and going.
Wayne Freeland of YUGO Ministries, who will be among the exhibitors, sees the value of the gathering saying “Most people in the local church, especially in cultures like Southern California, are so busy with so many things they really do not realize how much God is accomplishing around the world through various mission programs.
“God has equipped each of us individually and uniquely for some area of ministry and that particular gift set can be used to encourage and effectively enhance the ministry of some mission agency around the world.”
The first Missions Fest conference was held in Vancouver, Canada in 1984. That year, six local churches from different backgrounds, in the Greater Vancouver area, felt that global missions were ending up on the bottom of many local agendas. They decided that if they worked together, they could do much more in raising awareness, than if they continued alone.
A conference was planned and the whole Christian community was invited to come. An aggregate of 3,500 people attended that first year. Twenty years later, Missions Fest has grown to become even bigger, and Missions Fest continues to paint the big picture of what is happening around the world.
This year's California Missions Fest will be held in the Ontario California Convention Center, near Los Angeles.