Good News AFTER Conference

Could you use some good news? I have some. In fact, I have quite a lot of good news to share with you and the entire Okoboji Bible Conference family.

If you were able to attend even one Conference session back in August, some of this may be old news. If you could not attend, please receive this letter as a friendly update from a familiar and favorite place. Later, I’ll share some good financial news too. 

Mark Mittelberg surprised us all. From his global perspective as a church leader and author, he spoke of reaching others for Christ. Early on he dropped a good news bombshell. Mark testified that he came to Christ as a young man after listening to a message recorded at the Okoboji Conference in the 1970s! Mark heard, believed and was saved. Think of it. Mark stood in the exact spot from which THE BEST NEWS EVER was communicated to him four decades before. Then, on August 9, 2012 he found himself sharing that news in person in Arnolds Park and beyond, via recording, radio and the internet! Who else might hear and believe? And where might that believer be forty years hence?  

Conference is not just a once-per-year gathering for Christians. We scatter Good News seed everywhere all the time. Across eight decades Okoboji has influenced influencers.

  • A grandmother shared why Conference matters to her: “I see the Christian growth of families across generations. There is something special here.”
  •  Among our guests were two young missionary couples. One partner of each was nudged perhaps even shoved toward global service at Conference. Where do they serve now? Mongolia and Afghanistan. Good news cultivated at Okoboji spreads to far corners of the globe.
  •  A gentleman attended with his family for the first time ever this year. They returned for seven sessions. Why? “This is so good. I think every session should be packed!”

Several times at Conference I mentioned an all-year-long financial shortfall. In spite of solid Conference offerings, I could see nothing but a sizable deficit looming for our September 30 fiscal year-end. When Conference ended on August 12, $65,000 was needed to pay back our bank line of credit and all other bills. I know, that’s anything but good news, but there is some!

Income in August (AFTER Conference) and September to date totals $20,000! There’s some good news! And there’s more. Committed to avoiding deficit operations, your 12-member board of directors promised to give $22,000 before September ends. That is a real sacrifice for these households. Your leaders are servant leaders. 

That means that only $25,000 is needed in the next two weeks to meet fiscal year obligations. That’s a lot, but the Conference family is BIG! Better yet, we serve a BIG GOD who has sustained this ministry for 78+ years. I’m writing to ask you to join the sacrifice of Conference leaders to completely underwrite 2012.  

Late this month, a visioning group from the board of directors will again meet on campus. The early efforts of this process were visible this summer. The inviting Broadway green space opened the way for new fellowship/friendship venues. This group will be pumped when I inform them that we are futuring from a deficit-free position thanks to the sacrificial partnership of you and others.

Will you prayerfully consider joining your leaders to give an additional gift before September 30?

You’ve given before. That’s why I’m writing. Perhaps you’ve given very recently. Thank you so much. Perhaps you can give no more. I understand. In that case, please pray for those who can. Please pray also for your Conference leaders as God-blessed futures unfold.   

Enclosed you’ll find a reply envelope. Your tax-deductible gift, postmarked on or before September 30 will be part of the good news of a 2012 financial miracle. You may also give online at I will mail (or email) your receipt after October 1. At that time I can give you a complete report as to how your gift and others made the difference, avoiding a deficit.

May I share one more good news story? We recently received a gift in memory of Marguerite Tilman. Marguerite came to the Conference as girl with her Sunday School teacher. Her life and eternity were changed at the tent meeting! Marguerite married a man who became a pastor. After years of pastoring the Tilmans moved to California to spend decades working with Teen Challenge, serving the addicted and abandoned in Jesus’ name. Later, as an elderly widow, Marguerite still served. Using a walker she traversed blocks each day to assist at feeding center near her nursing home. Marguerite’s life touched people in Iowa churches and on the streets of Los Angeles. She spread THE BEST NEWS EVER, news she received first at the Okoboji Bible Conference. 

Conference is not just a once-per-year gathering for Christians. We scatter good news seed all the time and everywhere. Thank you in advance for being part of the effort!