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Meet Missions-Minded People

Meet Missions-Minded People

NOVEMBER 8, 2021   |   4 MINUTE READ

This year’s International Conference on Missions (ICOM) is being held in Richmond, Virginia, on November 18–21. World Gospel Mission has been a long-time partner with the conference, and we’ve witnessed the way it plays a key role in shaping missionaries at every stage of their ministry. Read on to see how the conference influenced Nashana Meese and her husband, Bryan.

Three people sit in chairs at a conference booth in the exhibit hall.

The exhibit hall at ICOM provides great opportunities for attendees to learn more about missions agencies and other organizations, including WGM.

As a child, I always looked forward to attending ICOM with my family. I remember the main sessions, with hundreds of believers pouring into a large convention center hall. I remember gazing at the different flags that surrounded the room and worshiping with people from around the world. I remember the workshops, reading through the descriptions in the conference handbook and trying to decide which ones to attend. But the thing I remember the most was the exhibit hall. My cousin and I would methodically walk up and down the rows, looking at each booth. When we were young, we would primarily stop for candy, free pens, sticky note pads, or the occasional unique trinket advertising someone’s ministry. But as we grew, we began paying more attention to the names of the ministries, to the countries where these missionaries worked. I was drawn toward booths that talked about work with children and education opportunities; my cousin Michelle gravitated toward ministries that focused on medical needs.

A man and a woman smile for a photo with the person manning a conference booth.

Nashana and her brother meet with WGM's Director of Mobilization, Jared Gleason, at ICOM.

At each stop we heard stories and statistics, triumphs and heartbreak. Our eyes were opened wider each year we attended, growing in awareness and compassion for all the brokenness on this earth. We simultaneously grew convinced of the need for the Gospel to shine a light in this darkness. We were inspired by the stories of how God was inviting people into His work of redemption by using the unique skills, passions, and desires that He had given them. As years passed, we began to wonder—how might God be inviting us into this journey as well?

My husband, Bryan, first attended ICOM his freshman year at Cincinnati Christian University (CCU). This was his first experience at a Christian convention and was somewhat overwhelming for him due to the size and scope of the event, as well as the size and scope of global missions as a whole. Bryan had completed a bachelor’s in computer science, and then, in response to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, went on to pursue another bachelor’s in music and worship at CCU. When one of his professors offered the opportunity for students to attend ICOM, he jumped at the chance and felt his interest in global missions affirmed.

A man and a woman smile for a photo

Bryan and Nashana at ICOM in 2016

The following year, Bryan and I went on our first date days before attending ICOM. At that year’s conference I met Jared Gleason from World Gospel Mission (WGM) and began exploring their internship opportunities. I was impressed with WGM’s approach to global missions and shared their program information with Bryan.

The next summer, I spent two months in Albania where I learned about the unique history and culture of the Balkan region. One of the incredible benefits I received from this internship was witnessing international ministry in a family setting. I was able to observe how my host family served the Lord and their community while also setting healthy expectations for their children and their family life. Coming alongside them as they lived out the particularities of day-to-day ministry helped me to envision how I could do the same.

We began to wonder—how might God be inviting us into this journey as well?

Bryan spent the summer after that in Argentina, where he saw God use his passion for worship and his skill in computer sciences to bless and serve others. This was a life-changing experience for Bryan, who was interested in international ministry but had primarily heard the word “missions” in correlation with “church planting.” During the summer he spent in Argentina, God provided countless opportunities to minister to and serve people through his technical expertise and his relational heart. Bryan had previously been under the impression that missions was only about preaching and church planting. This internship experience gave him a whole new vision for what missions could look like, and he was excited to identify how his gifts fit into missions.

A husband and wife smile for a photo with their young son in front of a colorful wall

Bryan and Nashana with their son in the U.S., making preparations to return to Prishtina, Kosovo.

I am grateful that the Lord has partnered Bryan and I in this work of pursuing redemption through the message of Christ. We have lived in Prishtina, Kosovo, for three years now and fall more in love with our city every day. We are working to learn and master the language, but we don’t let our inadequacies keep us from speaking to our neighbors. We spend our days raising our family and working at an English immersion K-12 school that is devoted to providing Kosovar students with a high-quality education. We spend our evenings hosting friends in our apartment or frequenting the local coffee shop where everyone in the neighborhood gathers to sit and visit. We commit ourselves to carving out time to deepen our personal understanding of God and how He changes us, in order that our presence here may indeed be a beacon of light that represents Christ in us.

We firmly believe that God is always working to draw all people into relationship with Him, and we stand in awe at His invitation to join with Him in this process. For our family, a part of this journey was listening to the stories of kingdom workers at ICOM as they shared what God has done in them through their obedience. Their stories empowered and encouraged us to consider God’s movement in our own lives. We are grateful for how the Lord has used ICOM as part of our story too, leading us to where we are today.

A husband and wife smile for a photo with their young son on a porch overlooking the countryside.

Bryan and Nashana building their ministry partnership team in the U.S. so they can continue raising their family in Kosovo.


PRAY: Lift up the Meese family as they continue to find ways to serve others with their gifts and talents. Pray that their ministry in Kosovo will have a widespread impact and that God will continue shaping and molding them to be more like Him.

GO: Do you have a heart for reaching others with the love of Christ? Are you curious to discover how He could use your unique passions and skills in missions work? ICOM is a great way to explore your opportunities, and you can attend in-person or virtually! Register for the November 2021 conference today.

Author Bio: Nashana Meese and her husband, Bryan, have been serving in Kosovo since 2018, but their missions journey started long before then. They’re passionate about being Christ’s love to those in their community. To sign up for their monthly newsletter, send them a message through their WGM giving page.

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