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Do you know any church wild enough to brainstorm, plan, and execute a conference for 2650 guests from all 50 states and 33 other countries in less than 50 days? Do you know anyone with such God-sized, audacious dreams and vision? Here at Saddleback Church, we do!

The Purpose Driven Church Conference was held at the end of June at Saddleback Church Lake Forest and marked the first time in a decade that Pastor Rick taught this conference in the United States. Last week marked the follow up conference – Purpose Driven Essentials. A special feature of the June conference was breakout tracks that enabled pastors and other church leaders from around the globe to sit in on specialized tracks to learn about more specific vision of empowering local churches with a discipleship process that helps get every member on mission.

Our Orphan Care and HIV&AIDS Initiatives shared about the vision of our ministries with conference attendees in separate breakout sessions and as a part of the Saddleback Signature Ministries panel that also included The Daniel Plan, Celebrate Recovery, and the Mental Health ministry. These breakout sessions enabled conference attendees to learn more about how the local church can be a source of hope to end both the global orphan and HIV crises and take practical solutions back to their churches.

In the Orphan Care breakout session conference attendees were shown why the Church should care about the global orphan crisis. As we have been spiritually adopted in the family of God, we should in turn model His heart to the orphaned by helping children remain in family, reunite with family and regain family through adoption. 

In the closing session of PD Essentials, Pastor Rick reminded pastors, "Please don't build an orphanage. Kids don't need orphanages; they need families! We have a goal that Rwanda would be the first nation in Africa with no orphanages... Children are getting in to families!"

In both the orphan care and HIV sessions, the message was clear: the local church is the hope of the world! God always intended to work through His Church, and Jesus promised that not even the gates of hell will prevail against the church. The tasks of ending the global orphan and HIV crises may seem monumental, but through the local church, we can successfully see children placed in loving, legal, and lasting families and effectively eliminate HIV in our lifetime.

Will you and your church take up this mantle in ending the global HIV and orphan crises? Perhaps your church needs help mobilizing members to ministry. For more information about how to start these ministries in your own church, please visit hivandthechurch.com and orphansandthechurch.com, or call the Orphan Care Initiative line at 949-609-8555.

 



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