Coming and Going Together in Unity

by Ellen Foell, International Program Specialist

And, that’s a wrap for Heartbeat International’s 2024 conference, held in Salt Lake City, Utah frompexels michaela st 3448542 19970150 April 23-26. What a conference it was! It was our most well-attended conference yet, with over 2,000 persons attending in person and virtually (and counting, as our virtual conference continues). We had 14 nations represented and 48 internationals attended. If you were not able to attend, we missed you and hope you will consider attending next year’s conference.* 

Fortunately, even though the Heartbeat staff and attendees are all back in their seats at life-affirming organizations across the globe, the thematic call, United for Life, continues. In case you were not able to attend either the in-person or virtual conference, our key verse was Philippians 2:2, "...then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose." We recently published an issue of Heartbeat Around the World on the call and need for unity. However, as we know, God’s word is timeless and ever-fresh. At this conference, it really struck me afresh that we are called to unity in many aspects.

We are called to be united in our...

  • minds
  • hearts
  • spirits
  • souls—including the outward expression of our purpose

Unity is an intentional, wholehearted, and whole-life effort to love our God, our neighbors, our clients, and our fellow life-affirming co-laborers with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Sometimes, we can focus so much on the mission that we forget that love is at the very heart of our mission, and without love, our mission may very well sound like a clanging cymbal. Let us have the same love. Or, we can hyperfocus on the specific aspect of the life-affirming movement that we think our hyperfocus should be everyone’s hyperfocus. The life-affirming movement is multifaceted, and each of us is called to know our specific calling and our place on the "wall." As we pursue like-mindedness, the same love, unity in spirit and purpose, we will see God’s purposes and His glory cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea.

Speaking of God’s glory, take a look at this video of the Parade of Nations, as Heartbeat’s 97 affiliated nations’ flags were on display for God’s splendor.

*If you think you might be interested in attending next year’s conference and require a VISA to attend, do not wait until next year to get your VISA appointment. Heartbeat can send you an invitation to next year’s conference that you can take to your interview. As always, the letter is not a promise by Heartbeat to pay for expenses of registration, accommodations, or travel. It is to be used only for purposes of the VISA interview.