During an unusually mild week in late January 2017, Dunamis Fellowship International (DFI) members and others interested in the ministry and vision of PRMI met in Black Mountain, NC to fellowship, worship together, hear about what the Holy Spirit is doing through PRMI internationally, discern a vision for moving forward in ministry, and renew their commitment to the ten tenets of the DFI.
Ministers and laypeople from around the world attended this event, including members of the four regional expressions of the Dunamis Fellowship:
- DF Alaska
- DF Britain and Ireland
- DF Canada
- DF Korea
Enlarging the Tent
The theme of this year’s DFI Annual Meeting was “Enlarging the Tent – The Opportunities and Challenges of a Growing Worldwide Family”, a phrase drawn from biblical imagery used to describe a growing family. An important verse for this year’s meeting was Isaiah 54:2, a verse in which the Lord promises to bless Israel with territory and descendants:
Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
We also read the prayer of Jabez from I Chronicles 4:9-10, in which God answers the prayer of an honorable man to expand his territory.
Prayer and the Great Commission
On Thursday, Rev. Brad Long (executive director of PRMI) spoke about how the work of prayer to which God is calling PRMI in 2017–specifically the Prayer Initiative–will help to fulfill the Great Commission by helping believers discern where and how God is calling them, providing protection for ministry around the world, and defeating demonic strongholds.
Martin Boardman, recently appointed Prayer Mobilizer for PRMI, and Mary Ellen Conners also led a breakaway session about prayer cohorts, one aspect of this movement of strategic, kingdom-advancing prayer.
Hand in hand with prayer is the financial provision that will allow PRMI to continue to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in fulfilling the Great Commission. Board member Tom Kemner spoke about the logistics of financial stewardship and the kingdom goals of PRMI’s capital campaign in 2017.
The Challenges and Blessings of Intercultural, International Ministry
In keeping with the theme of Enlarging the Tent, we gave thanks for a growing, international ministry and acknowledged its challenges. We asked participants–many of whom have experienced the challenges of teaching materials developed in America and in English to believers around the world—to help PRMI move forward in cooperating with the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission across cultures.
We were honored to have Rev. Young Woon Ahn, Co-Director of the DFK join us for the first time. On Thursday evening he shared how Dunamis has impacted his life and ministry. He has especially appreciated the systematic teaching, teamwork and discernment process that is part of the PRMI DNA. Translating the manuals into Korean has been challenging, but the DFK made this a high priority and has translated all 6 Dunamis Project manuals.
Throughout the event, we heard from teams from Korea, Nicaragua, Haiti, Estonia and the Czech Republic, and Central Asia about the particular blessings and challenges of bringing teaching about the Holy Spirit to those cultures.
Darnell Herrera, Earl Rutledge, Felix Herrera, and Chris Walker speaking about the work of Dunamis in Nicaragua
These teams shared so much information and encouragement with us that we will be running a series of articles in future issues of Moving With the Spirit about the reports from these various teams.
Follow this series to read about the challenges of translation, persecution, and poverty and the blessings of empowerment, equipping, encouragement, and miraculous answers to prayer.
Each evening the group gathered to worship together, led by Christel DeWaard and Marcia Bronson. Christel was led and empowered to give us a taste of heaven, where we will worship with every tribe and language, by encouraging conference attendees to help us in worship in their own languages.
With the help of various participants, we worshipped in Haitian Creole, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Dutch, and Spanish. The joy and glory in the room were palpable and powerful as the Holy Spirit brought spiritual unity in the midst of cultural diversity.
International and Intergenerational
On Saturday we heard from leaders involved in PRMI’s Youth and Young Adult events, Stephanie McClain and Rev. Susan Finck. Susan and Stephanie spoke about the impact of Upward Challenge (PRMI’s program for middle and high schoolers) and With the Wind (PRMI’s program for college students and young adults) in helping teenagers and young adults live Spirit-empowered lives.
Stephanie highlighted the need for discernment, mentors, and equipping in the lives of young people and the role these young leaders will play in helping future generations learn to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. She encouraged the DFI members to invest time and resources in the youth and young adults who will become tomorrow’s leaders and teachers.
Commitment to the Ten Tenets and Prayer for Empowerment
On the last evening of the event, Ben Torrey (Dunamis Fellowship Korea) and Barb Ferrier (Dunamis Fellowship Canada) spoke about the ten tenets of the Dunamis Fellowship International in preparation for the members to renew their commitment (or for new members to prayerfully make this commitment for the first time).
After reviewing the tenets and their purpose, members entered a time of praying for empowerment to live out that commitment in themselves and in ministry to others. The prayer ministry teams also prayed for attendees that the Holy Spirit would bless and empower the connections made and direction discerned throughout the week.
The Next Step: Looking Forward to 2017
This year’s Dunamis Fellowship International Annual Meeting was a celebration of what the Holy Spirit has done through PRMI internationally, a reaffirmation of faith and commitment, and a time to pray for vision, guidance, and growth in ministry for 2017.
Please prayerfully consider how God might be calling you to become a part of the of the work that God is doing around the world to fulfill the Great Commission through PRMI, and don’t forget to look for Missions Reports in future Moving With the Spirit articles! These leaders and teachers need prayer support to continue to minister in challenging circumstances.
To learn more about about the Dunamis Fellowship and discern whether you might be called to membership, click here. For more information about Dunamis Projects or to register for an event near you, follow the link below.