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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

ABUNDANT MERCY ... LIVING HOPE

Friday, August 3, 2012

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Okoboji Bible Conference welcomes Christians Aug. 4 - 12

"It's infectious, people love to be around it," coordinator Jody Van Kley said of an event approaching its eighth decade of existence.

The 78th Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference greets residents and visitors once again from Aug. 4-12 with the theme "Abundant Mercy - Living Hope."

The theme hope and rebirth is found in the verse from 1 Peter 1:3. And, each year, the conference experiences a rebirth through the generosity of attendees -- organizers rely on freewill offerings instead of a schedule packed with admission fees.

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"It's a family event, and people grow very attached to each other, its a community all into its own that just draws people in," Van Kley said. "It's a totally unique environment that just exudes love and excitement.

The Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference dates back five generations and has been a late-summer tradition in the Iowa Great Lakes since 1935. The event has grown over time, but tries to maintain some of the original "tent meeting" atmosphere. Organizers strive to encourage Christian growth and a global vision for people regardless of age.

"Anyone is welcome, it doesn't matter if you can give a little or a lot, it's open to anyone who wants to come and enjoy the things we have," Van Kley said. "It just provides a really positive atmosphere for people to come in and enjoy it."

New to this year's festivities is the play-set in the nursery for the youth to enjoy while their parents indulge further in the Christian faith. And each summer, every speaker and artist is new -- the conference is unique from year to year.

"That's what keeps it appealing to the people," Van Kley said. "They come out and they know they are going to experience and learn something new every year."

Van Kley added that they typically see around 1,000 people from around the country each day. The Okoboji Bible Conference isn't structured to require attendance each day. Attendees can come and go as they please.

"We realized that, our hope comes from the fact that we have received God's mercy," Van Kley said. "Meaning that God has saved us from sin, forgiven us and we are looking forward to an eternal life with him. For us, that's something to celebrate. We celebrate the mercy of god and we have a great hope for the future."

Each morning begins with a prayer, a morning Bible hour led by Dan Block, followed by Christian Life Communities. These adult sessions are led by seven different instructors, which include; "Hope: The Virtue of Pilgrim People" with Mary Vanden Berg, "Law & Politics: A Christian View" with Rob Vischer, "Tomorrowland: Re-Imagining the Way You Relate to the World" with Skye Jethani and "The Gospel, the Church and the World" with Ethan Burmeister.

"We really want people to be renewed and invigorated," Van Kley said. "We want them to be able to leave with a sense that they are better for having been here and they go home refreshed."

A Point of Grace concert will kick off the week of activities at 7:15 p.m. Saturday. The Point of Grace performance will be one of six featured musical performances and 13 guest speakers on the schedule throughout the conference. A speaker and musical performance will greet guests each night during the conference at 7:15 p.m.

"I'm looking forward for Gracia Burnham to speak," Van Kley said. "She has an amazing story to tell, I'm very interested in hearing her perspective on what happened and seeing what wisdom she's gained."

Burnham and her husband were kidnapped while on a mission together in the Philippines in 2001. Her husband was murdered, but her life was spared -- but not without a few emotional and physical scars. She will tell her story on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the Women's Luncheon in Arrowwood. The luncheon is the only event that requires a fee and tickets are on sale for $18.

"It's such a blessing to be here," Van Kley said. "It's so cool to be a part of something that is interdenominational and to be around Christians from all over the world. It's just such a celebration, I'd hate for somebody to miss it."

For more information about the upcoming activities or tickets to the Women's Luncheon, call the conference office at 712-332-2883, email info@okobojiconference.com or visit www.okobojiconference.org. A complete conference schedule can be found online.


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Saturday, August 4_7:15 p.m. - Point of Grace in Concert

Sunday, August 5_8:30 a.m. -- Begin the day with prayer (Chapel)_9:15 a.m. -- Christian Life Communities_10:30 a.m. -- Worship with Worship Team, Anthony Evans, Skye Jethani _7:15 p.m. -- Worship Team, Anthony Evans, Phil Vischer

9:15 p.m. -- Pie and Coffee in Fellowship Center

Monday, August 6_8:30 a.m. -- Begin the day with prayer (Chapel)_9 a.m. -- Morning Bible Hour with Dan Block _10 a.m. - noon -- Children and Youth Communities_10:30 a.m. - noon -- Adult Christian Life Communities_7:15 p.m. -- Worship Team, Lyle Dorsett _9:15 p.m. -- Conference Association Annual Meeting (all welcome)_9:15 p.m. -- Pie and Coffee in Fellowship Center

Tuesday, August 7_8:30 a.m. -- Begin the day with prayer (Chapel)_9 a.m. -- Morning Bible Hour with Dan Block _10 a.m. -- noon -- Children and Youth Communities_10:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. -- Pastors & Spouses Day at The Inn _Complimentary tickets required _10:30 a..m - noon -- Adult Christian Life Communities_12:15 p.m. -- Luncheon for Pastors & Spouses at The Inn_7:15 p.m. -- Worship Team, Lyle Dorsett

9:15 p.m. -- Pie and Coffee in Fellowship Center

Wednesday, August 8_8:30 a.m. -- Begin the day with prayer (Chapel)_9:00 a.m. -- Morning Bible Hour with Dan Block _10 a.m. -- noon -- Children and Youth Communities_10:30 a.m. -- noon -- Adult Christian Life Communities_1 p.m. -- Women's Luncheon with Gracia Burnham at Arrowwood _7:15 p.m. - Worship Team, King's Brass, Gracia Burnham

9:15 p.m. - Pie and Coffee in Fellowship Center

Thursday, August 9_7 a.m. -- Men's Breakfast (Founders Hall)_No advance tickets. Reservations made at Conference_8:30 a.m. -- Begin the day with prayer (Chapel)_9:00 -- Morning Bible Hour with Dan Block _10 a.m. - noon -- Children and Youth Communities_10:30 a.m. - noon -- Adult Christian Life Communities_4 p.m. -- Service of prayer for healing (Chapel)_7:15 p.m. -- Worship Team, King's Brass, Mark Mittelberg

9:15 p.m. -- Pie and Coffee in Fellowship Center

Friday, August 10_8:30 a.m. -- Begin the day with prayer (Chapel)_9 a.m. -- Morning Bible Hour with Dan Block _10 a.m. - noon -- Children and Youth Communities_10:30 a.m. - noon -- Adult Christian Life Communities_7:15 p.m. -- Worship Team, Mark Mittelberg _9:15 p.m. -- Pie and Coffee in Fellowship Center

Saturday, August 11_8:30 a.m. -- Begin the day with prayer (Chapel)_10:30 a.m. -- The Joy of Community_Praise, Worship and Highlights of Week for all ages_10:30 a.m. -- Adult Christian Life Community, Rick Porter (Chapel)_7:15 p.m. -- Worship Team, Buddy Greene, Stories of Community, Mercy, and Hope_9:15 p.m. -- Pie and Coffee in Fellowship Center

Sunday, August 12_8:30 a.m. -- Begin the day with prayer (Chapel)_9:15 a.m. -- Adult Christian Life Community, Rick Porter (Chapel)_10:30 a.m. -- Worship Team, Buddy Greene, Skye Jethani

7:15 p.m. -- Sara Groves in Concert



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