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Experiences of a Mexican pastor at Gafcon 2018

The reality of our global church goes beyond what we imagine, and is growing in unexpected ways.

FEATURES 04 DE JULIO DE 2018 08:51 h
Participants of Gafcon 2018, in Jerusalem. / FB Gafcon

My name is Marcos Farhid Abadache Pinedo, I am Pastor of the Church of the Great Shepherd in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico.



I have been serving in that community for 3 years, and this year I had the privilege of going to the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem for the first time, being one of the two Mexican representatives in this important Anglican international event.



Through this article, I share my experience to help you understand what the GAFCON movement is.



Being part of the event, and of its various activities during the week was truly incredible, both because of the conference itself and because it was held in Jerusalem.



Being in the Holy Land, together with 2,000 people from around 50 countries who share and defend the same faith, with the same purpose, was impressive. It reminds me of Acts 1:8.



Thinking about the importance of being part of this great event, and its impact for Mexico, I realize how throughout the international conference my country could be seen, the Anglican community knew that we exist and that we are part of this global community.



At the same time, thanks to Gafcon, the church in my country will realize that we belong to a world that goes beyond our borders, that we are a group of brothers scattered all over the planet.



The reality of our global church goes beyond what we imagine, and is growing in unexpected ways.



 



Marcos Farhid Abadache Pinedo.

Proof of this is what was said during the conference in relation to the case of Nigeria, a country where more Anglicans gathered every Sunday in the churches than in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand together, as one of the speakers said. Only Nigeria has more than 20 million evangelical Anglicans.



If I had to share an anecdote that expresses a little of what this historic week was, I would choose the moment when we went out for the first time to have a snack. Two thousand people left the auditorium, of different nationalities and cultures, speaking in different languages, with a great bustle.



It was a really impressive image, that I will always remember.



It made me think of the Revelation, when the Church of God will join to praise Him:




Then a voice came from the throne, saying:



“Praise our God,

all you his servants,

you who fear him,

both great and small!”



Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:



“Hallelujah!

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad

and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.



(Revelation 19:5-7)




The Bible says that there will be thousands praising Him. If I was stunned to see two thousand, I do not know what it will be like to be part of that great moment when we will gather from every place on Earth.



Sometimes when you are in your church you feel like you are the center of the universe, but the truth is that we are not. We are not the only ones, there is much more, and that fills me with satisfaction.



The global unity in the gospel that we have seen in Gafcon is real and profound. Its importance can be summarized in some phrases of the exhibitors during that week, such as: “It is no longer a table set by the West where the Global South are invited to sit and eat together. Today we all go to the kitchen together, to prepare food in unity”, said Jason Mandryk, of Operation World.



Meanwhile, Bishop Rennis Ponniah of Signapur said: “Our unity not only has an evangelistic meaning, it has a cosmic meaning”, and he spoke about the importance of being together as a Global Church.



 



The bustle during the snack. / Fb Gafcon



Personally, I believe that Gafcon has had heavenly wisdom to talk about gender identity and homosexuality in a prophetic and pastoral way. In the midst of a very confused world, they have been able to maintain a biblical and at the same time very human and loving position, full of grace.



Gafcon has had the heavenly wisdom to go beyond this theme, to emphasize and focus on the importance of “Proclaim Christ Faithfully to the Nations”, as the theme of the 2018 conference said.



To advance in our purpose, it is important to be clear about our beliefs, values and principles, our identity, vision and mission.



That is why the last day of the conference we share the Letter to the Churches, a clear document that expresses and shares the evangelical heart of Gafcon members representing more than 50 million Christians.



The final statement is a good argument as the basis of our faith in certain topics.



The main themes discussed were correct marriage in the eyes of God, opposition to abortion, and being guided by what Scripture says.



To write the Letter to the Churches, we talked about respecting and loving people, and at the same time about rejecting attitudes that go against the Bible.



I am grateful, happy and excited to have been part of Gafcon 2018, for belonging to this Anglican movement that promotes Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, as the only and sufficient Savior. And I am very happy to have been in Jerusalem with brothers from all over the world, advancing in unity for the extension of the kingdom of God, and aligning ourselves for what is to come.


 

 


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