Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What a weekend it has been...

YS Convention Season began this weekend. We both get to attend all three cities which is awesome and probably a chance in a lifetime for me. The first convention was here in San Diego and was incredible. Ian did amazing as usual branding the artwork for the entire convention. I would show you the artwork, but he won't let me spoil it for anyone who is planning on going to any of their other conventions. So you will have to wait until after Thanksgiving if you are not attending.

Seriously though, the speaker line ups were incredible. The first speaker was Brenda Salter McNeal. She did a great job just talking about the purpose of youth workers. One also cannot beat the live worship from David Crowder. My job was to work at the Core Booth, I got to hear some amazing stories from youth workers from all over.

It was a fantastic weekend just encouraging other youth workers and being encouraged myself by reconnecting with some youth worker friends from churches all over San Diego.

But then we wake up on Monday...

There was an all too familiar smell in the air. The stale odor of distant fires put a pit in my stomach. The night before we were on top of the world, feeling as if anything is possible and then we wake up to see that some of the volunteers from the convention were driving home early to pack up family members and belongings. The experience of the weekend went from staying in a nice hotel ordering room service, to wandering around Qualcolm stadium distributing water to the thousands of people waiting to hear if they could return home. The halls of the stadium are packed with tents as well as the parking lot filled with cars. There are very little personal items when you think about how they left a house filled with belongings.

The scene really is overwhelming. As I drove into the stadium, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw grown men wiping the tears from their eyes. But you know what the strange thing was? The spirit was not much different than that I experienced at the Town and Country the day before. So many people were there to volunteer their time and energies. Everyone I talked to had the same reason to be there, "I just needed to do something." Because of the mass of people wanting to help, there was more than enough people to give out water, food, and just do whatever they needed. Everyone was so kind and strangers interacted as if long time friends. It seriously was an incredible sight.

I spent a weekend at a booth for a one day training seminar encouraging youth groups to change the world. I then went to a stadium where people were putting that desire in action. It was awesome.

We continue to pray for all of those displaced right now. This is far from over, and so we also pray that people continue to band together and help each other out.

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