How God Moved an International Ministry's Focus Back Home—and Is Now Transforming Los Angeles

(Courtesy Missions.Me)

When we think of missions, we often think of international work. After all, Jesus told us to take the gospel to "the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8b). And for years, that's what Missions.Me placed its primary focus on as well, says Gabe Bahlhorn, the organization's chief communications officer.

Since 2004, the ministry has focused on transformative missionary experiences and successfully organized large-scale outreaches in nations across the globe. Its revolutionary "1Nation1Day" concept designed to unite the global church for the salvation and transformation of nations has seen remarkable success. But God used a remarkable shared vision alongside the global pandemic to bring Missions.Me's missionary efforts to the U.S. this year—specifically to the city of Los Angeles—after the invitation of Tommy and Matthew Barnett of the Los Angeles Dream Center. And now, Missions.Me is sharing the vision and lessons learned from those efforts in a free leadership conference scheduled for March 25-27 at leadconference.com.

"This is us giving to leaders and teaching them how to lead in a post-pandemic world," Bahlhorn says, adding that the conference will be for all those who want to expand their leadership. Speakers include Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church, Lisa Bevere, Judah Smith, Dharius Daniels, Pastor Samuel Rodriguez and many more.

Bahlhorn shares how the nonprofit's partnership with the Los Angeles Dream Center came about. One day, Tommy Barnett sat down with the Missions.Me team and said, "My son Matthew and I have a dream for Los Angeles. And the only manifestation of that dream that we've seen in our natural life is what we saw take place in Honduras," where 1Nation1 Day saw remarkable individual and societal transformation, all affirmed by the nation's president.

Barnett had one question for Missons.Me, Bahlhorn says: "Would you pray about doing a 1Nation1Day-scale outreach here in the city of Los Angeles?"

"We had no reference point," Bahlhorn says. "But we realized early on that when a general of our faith speaks something to us in faith, it would be completely foolish to respond with logic. And so we began to pray into it. And the doors began to open for us and the city of Los Angeles over several years, and really felt that there was a divine shift for a season for our ministry, to be reassigned to America. Again, this is pre-COVID. ... And so our organization began to shift and focus on 'Let's be a part of loving this city, this city of great contrasts, the city that really messages the world. Los Angeles is the media capital of the entire globe.

"And what would it look like if the church came together and locked arms interdenominationally over many different types of backgrounds, racial backgrounds, geographical backgrounds, denominational backgrounds, and said, 'We are going to love this city with no strings attached; we're going to display the greatest act of love that Los Angeles has ever seen by the thousands and come together and be a part of this?'" Bahlhorn says his team asked.

Since then, the ministry has worked through a seven-pronged 1Day LA initiative culminating in a historic event July 18-24, 2021, in which 20,000 team members from across America will join to love and serve Los Angeles for an entire week.

To learn more about the Missions.Me leadership conference and about the details of how God is using Missions.Me in Honduras, Los Angeles and around the world, listen to the entire episode of the Strang Report podcast at this link. Be sure to subscribe to the Strang Report on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast platform, and check out the details of the free March 25-27 leadership conference at this link or this video. Watch God's work through the 1Nation1Day events here, in Peru here, in Los Angeles here and through the "Another Path" initiative for those graduating from the foster care system here.

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