Life Changing ~ Faith Shaping: Metanoia 2018
By Kim Reisman, Executive Director
Most of us can look back on our lives and point to an experience that was instrumental in shaping us into the persons we are today. Maybe it was a conversation or encounter with another person that transformed the way we looked at things. Maybe it was an event or incident that remolded our understanding of the world or our faith. Growing into the people God desires us to be requires these kinds of moments – they are a crucial way in which we are formed into mature adults and mature disciples of Jesus Christ.
Participating in the first WME sponsored international young adult gathering called ICYCE when I was 20 years old was one such an experience for me. We gathered in Truro, England, slept in tents, heard amazing speakers, and met young Christians from all over the world.
WME held it’s 10th young adult conference – renamed Metanoia – in Alajuela, Costa Rica in June. Over 100 young adults from 20 countries gathered together for a powerful experience of spiritual transformation and deepened commitment to Christ. As I watched them lift their hands in praise, share and pray with one another, come forward for prayer and anointing, or respond to a call to ministry, I realized that this week was as meaningful to them as my experience in England all those years ago had been for me. We were all richly blessed by the presence of God’s Holy Spirit.
In the midst of this stimulating movement of God’s Spirit, we were also able to have loads of fun horseback riding, relaxing in hot springs, and zip lining through rain forests. Nights were spent carousing in the swimming pool or in deep conversation over amazing Costa Rican coffee.
The impact is already rippling beyond this one week in Costa Rica. Our Metanoia Movement Groups have provided these young adults a way to continue their commitment to transformation through shared work on issues facing our world. For instance, using Instagram to change understandings of refugees (@ourvoicemovement) or to raise awareness about the trafficking of human organs (@blacklisttheblackmarket) or creating a Facebook challenge to raise awareness of child slavery (#breakfreefriday). If you are an Instragram or Facebook user, you can follow and support the work these young adults have begun. It is an awesome thing when we join the movement of God in our world!
I’m grateful to Bishop Fernando Palomo and Ray Zirkel for welcoming Metanoia so warmly and providing for our every need. Leadership from Ivan Abrahams, Ralph Afghan, Ashley Cooper, Don Reasoner, and Archie Woods was crucial, and God clearly anointed our many gifted speakers like Anne Gatobu, Paulo Lopes, Guillermo Mighthy, Luther Oconer, Sunday Onuoha, Adria Nuñez Ortiz, Graham Singh, Jeremy Steele, Kelcy Steele, Sarah Thebarge, and David Wilkinson. They generously shared their talents through moving bible study, inspired teaching, and powerful preaching.
Over thirty years ago, at ICYCE (WME’s first “Metanoia”), Peter Story, from South Africa, told us that there is a dream in the mind of God. He was right. Gathered in Costa Rica, we heard God’s dream. We saw it with our own eyes. We touched it and it touched us. Now we go to declare it to all the world.