The idea of FarBeyond 2020 was born five years ago in the hearts and minds of the leaders of TeachBeyond who wanted to create an opportunity for members from around the world to meet together for a time of fellowship, learning and refreshment.  A venue was scouted out in Slovenia to accommodate the 850 people who expressed an interest in attending for March 2020. Everything was in place until just two weeks before the scheduled date, when COVID 19 turned the world upside down.

After several attempts to reschedule, it was finally decided to go ahead with the conference and it was rebranded as FarBeyond 2022, with only 350 people now feeling comfortable enough with travel to attend. The venue, the Grand Bernadin Hotel in Portoroz, Slovenia was spectacular. Built into the side of a cliff, it allowed for every room on the eleven floors to have a balcony overlooking the Adriatic Sea. We arrived a day early to do some preparation for the conference, which gave us some time to explore the nearby town of Piran and watch the sun go down over the Adriatic.

The years of planning paid off as teams were together for the first time in years, friendships that had been cultivated on-line finally met face to face, we saw reports of many transformational ministries, celebrated successes and milestones, sang and worshipped together, learned, ate, played and met many new folks who will be key to our work in the years ahead. As was to be expected, we also shared our germs and many of us left with Omicron on board. Thankfully most everyone was fully vaccinated so the cases, although plentiful, were all relatively mild.

The leadership team put an incredible amount of work into keeping this vision alive through the pandemic and eventually seeing it through to fruition. Their work was deeply appreciated by all who were able to attend as well as some 750 others who were able to join the plenary sessions, which were live streamed. Typically, for this time even the keynote speaker was unable to travel from South America due to her own battle with Covid. It was a great success but I think everyone involved agreed that in future, regional conferences will become the norm.