Onething Conference Kansas City
December was an extremely busy month here at the missions base. At the end of each year, IHOPKC hosts an event called the Onething conference. The name of the conference comes from Psalm 27:4, where King David declares, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.” For the past few years, we have had over 25,000 people in attendance who share the same heart-cry as King David, to see the beauty of the Lord and to minister in His presence with prayer and worship. The Onething conference is always a very special time for a number of reasons, but this year was especially precious for the IHOP-KC community because we had the honor of hosting guest ministers Francis Chan, Matt Redman, Jesus Culture, and Banning Liebscher. We were humbled by the way that these esteemed international Christian leaders came to Kansas City to share some different facets of God’s heart concerning prayer and missions. All of the conference sessions are currently available for viewing and listening at www.ihopkc.org/onething/. We would especially recommend listening to Francis Chan, Allen Hood, and Benji Nolot’s conference sessions– they each were very timely words of exhortation.
New Changes in Intro to IHOP-KC Internship
As many of you know, Intro to IHOP-KC internship program is the department that I (Stuart) work with here on the missions base. Within Intro , I have the opportunity to serve the prayer and missions movement by being a small-group pastor (called a core leader) to groups of interns as they go through the internship program. I have been so blessed to serve in this department for the last year and half because it has been a wonderful venue for Stephanie and I to walk out our calling to love Jesus with all of our hearts and prepare people for His soon return. A little over three months ago we experienced a transition in the internship as the executive director changed departments and a new director took over the role. My new boss, Matt Candler, is such an amazing leader and he has been bringing some new focus to the internship that I would like to share with you all.
The Intro to IHOP-KC internship is a consecrated season where interns come to Kansas City to experience a short-term missions trip. For six months, they live as intercessory missionaries by serving the Lord in daily corporate prayer meetings for twenty-four hours each week. In addition to serving in prayer meetings, our interns receive practical and academic training to help them lead enjoyable prayer meetings and serve the global missions movement through intercessory prayer. As you might imagine, this is a very intense and unique season for every person that participates in the internship. Our desire is that each intern would understand and personally experience God’s value for prayer in relationship to His divine plan in raising up people from every tribe, tongue, and nation that minister to the Him in unceasing worship– unto the return of Jesus to the earth (Malachi 1:11, Revelation 22:17). As our interns complete the program, they are equipped to lead a 12-week Bible study about prayer and to build a team that can lead 2 hour corporate prayer meetings with worship music. We are excited to see the Lord send people from all around the Globe to our internship program. The photograph I have included with this letter is a picture of all the new interns in my small group this track. In total, we have around 40 new interns that started the program in January. I have been assigned leadership to the 9 shown in the picture. Please feel free to pray over them and God’s plan for raising up a prayer and missions movement in the country that they come from.
Christmas, New Years, and Beyond!
This past Christmas was full of exciting “firsts” in the Keisman family. This was our first year of celebrating Christmas at home in Kansas City, of buying our first legitimate Christmas tree (a Charlie Brown tree doesn’t count), and of celebrating the holidays with our first child. John enjoyed shredding the Christmas paper off of his toys and promptly putting the paper in his mouth. It also was the first year that we celebrated Christmas with Advent in mind. Stephanie and I read a daily Advent devotional by John Piper and really enjoyed keeping the first and second coming of Jesus at the center of our celebration. We are looking forward to more doing more Advent activities together as a family in future years.
At the beginning of January, we were treated to an amazing family vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We were really blessed to spend some quality relaxing time together as a family. During our vacation we took lots of walks in parks and on the beach, shared lots of meals together, read, and played by the pool. John went swimming for the first time and he had mixed opinions about the experience. He also made his first real attempt at crawling as he wiggled across a hotel room floor to reach his favorite toy: a plastic water bottle. Now that we are back in Kansas City, he is very mobile and we have to keep an extra close eye on him. He also started cutting his first two teeth which, surprisingly, aren’t causing him a lot of noticeable pain or distress. We are really enjoying all of the rapid changes that John is going through as he is quickly becoming a big boy, though we wouldn’t mind if he slowed down a bit so we can make his baby years last as long as possible. 🙂