God can do more than you can even imagine because his power is so much greater than our imaginations. He loves unity in diversity and He did just that again at Iron Man 6.
The conference kicked off Friday night with an Ice Cream Bar on Steroids, a powerful message from the URM Vice-President, and some great music.
However, what really seemed to hit home was a testimony from a man named James who graduated from the Union Rescue Mission 27 years ago! Today he is happily married, gainfully employed as an executive at an Aerospace company, owns two homes, an active member at his local church, and free from the chains of alcohol and drugs for the past 28 years! James represents what God can do. For these men, listening to James was like the opportunity to look into the future and visualize their lives full of hope and purpose.
Saturday we got our annual visit from the Apostle Peter who reminded us, from his adventure in John 21, how that “Failure is not Final… Because God isn’t finished with us yet.”
We laughed a lot playing group games, going bowling and listening to a professional comedian. We enjoyed the Outreach Band. We ate plenty of food. We also heard many stories from the men from both world’s about how mentoring relationships that were formed in years past have continued to develop, bringing healing and spiritual growth. We heard from two URM grads who have been mentored for over three years and are now mentoring men at the mission themselves!
The highlight for most though was the many opportunities throughout the day to talk to one another and hear each other’s life stories. Many new men signed up to get into mentoring relationships that was one of the major objectives of the conference.
Sunday we wrapped it up in San Clemente worshipping at Pacific Coast Church. I incorporated the spontaneous testimonies of the men in the sermon about “How to Develop Mutually Beneficial Friendships. The sermon was ok J but it was the testimonies that hit a home run as was evidenced by the many facial tissues that captured the tears of joy throughout the auditorium.
We capped the whole weekend off at the beach for some great steaks on the grill, some volleyball, good conversation, and the love and support of cheering on 12 URM guys who made their faith known by getting baptized in the Pacific Ocean!
As one man who is at the mission seeking God to turn his life around put it… “It’s just so special to have a time where we can feel normal… to have strangers accept us with open arms and want to be our friends… instead of feeling the stigma that usually accompanies being homeless, a recovering addict, or just struggling with life.”
Please pray for these relationships to flourish and the many new mentoring relationships that this conference has generated. Pray for more mentors as the desire to have a mentor exceeds those available to mentor.
“Thank you” to all that attended the conference, sponsored men from the URM, or support Deed & Truth whom God used to change lives.