Full title “ECHO International Agriculture Conference 2015”. Last week (Nov. 17th to 19th) was the 22nd annual conference. Over 200 delegates listened to plenary speakers, attended workshops and got to know each other. Many have been to a number of conferences and so it feels a bit like a family reunion!
It is the only time during the year that we here in Florida are able to be in the same room with so many people in our global network. I’d like to tell you about one of those people.
Roy and his family have served in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and the Central African Republic for almost 40 years. In their mission work they assist local partners in meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of rural communities He has planted thousands of trees and has been through several coups and evacuations.
He found out about ECHO in the early years of the organization, back in the 80’s. He has read most of our development notes and technical notes, he has received seeds, and we have even sent live trees to him in Africa. He always attends this annual conference when he is in the US on home assignment.
In turn Roy has shared his knowledge and experience with ECHO. Three of our interns have served with he and his family after their internships here in Florida. And Roy has spent time at ECHO as a missionary in residence.
He shared at our closing banquet that part of the purpose of home assignment or furlough is to spend time with people that support their ministry and to spend time with family. And Roy feels that ECHO is family and so he must come see us whenever possible.
Even though Ellen and I would rather be in Africa we count it a wonderful privilege to be able to provide information and give advice to people like Roy and his family who are living and serving in communities around the world.