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Missionaries to share tales during world conference at First Presbyterian Church in Gainesville
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Missionaries from around the world will share their experiences Hall County residents during the World Mission Conference at First Presbyterian Church in Gainesville.

The three-day annual conference will begin with a dinner and program from 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 3 at 800 S. Enota Drive NE in Gainesville. A silent auction and exhibit will open at 6 p.m. Feb. 3 and end at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 4.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the event will start with a light buffet breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by the opening celebration and worship service from 9-9:45 a.m. For the next three hours, breakout sessions with missionaries will be in the church. A rice-and-beans lunch from 1-2 p.m. will close Saturday’s activities.

“(This) might be the biggest thing that our church does, and the fact that it is entirely devoted to world missions is a testament to First Presbyterian Church’s commitment to work outside the church and around the world,” said the Rev. Lee Koontz, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church. “We will be hearing from our many missionaries that we support as they tell stories of lives that have been changed as a result of their work.”

The weekend’s keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel, a Palestinian Christian who grew up in Israel. He has a unique perspective on the Middle East and will telling his story. Abu-Akel has led mission trips to Kenya, Haiti, Brazil, Egypt, Israel and Palestine. He also participated in Mission Study Seminars to Nicaragua, Korea, Egypt, Israel and Palestine.

A program for children in the fifth grade and younger will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lodge in conjunction with the conference.

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