Voices From the Dome:
Ingrid Oberholster

t will be a shame if so many Adventists come to Atlanta and not change this city by the time we leave.” The words Mark Finley spoke from the platform struck a chord deep inside me as I realized the intensity of his statement. Pastor Finley then went on to encourage the congregation to take pamphlets with them after the meeting to pass out.

What are we doing here if not touching other people’s lives? I thought about the man who drove our shuttle bus earlier that morning. Before we started our short journey to the dome, he started praying for the trip and for the people on his bus.

“Are you telling me you haven’t heard? I’m the praying bus driver,” he said, when some passengers showed their surprise.

It shouldn’t have shocked me and yet it did. If that man can put aside his fears of embarrassment, why can’t we? Isn’t that our Great Commission—to take God’s Word to every nation, language, tribe, and people?

I looked around me and noticed how many different cultures were represented through their colorful dress, languages, and unique greetings. It inspired me to see people from different backgrounds all coming together to worship and praise God. My heart quickened its pace as I thought about how much impact we could have, as Mark Finley had suggested earlier.

The fifty-ninth General Conference session has attracted thousands and thousands of people. If each person takes an interest in one other person in the Atlanta area, just think about how many people we can share God’s love with. We don’t all have to be missionaries overseas. We just have to live our everyday lives in such a manner that uplifts Christ.

We have gathered in Atlanta to make some decisions about our future and to unify our worldwide church. However, if that gets in the way of sharing God’s love with the people around us and impacting their lives, then I believe we have not done what we came to do. As we are here this week let us keep in mind Pastor Finley’s challenge and not just keep God inside the dome. Let’s make sure when we leave we won’t be remembered as those people who once had those meetings in the dome and convention center, but rather as children of God who couldn’t help sharing God with everyone they encountered. Let’s impact Atlanta!

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