Monday, September 5, 2011

GEM Annual Conference

A few snapshots:

Picture this: Hundreds of missionaries and hundreds of Poles, mingling together over meals, in elevators, at the pool, in the lobby. Boy this is a tough language. Trying to shift gears from Hungarian, giving up.

Theme: Set your sails! Hmmm...I can get into that...

Training: T4T, brought by Steve Smith, a new model for church planting ministry. Book on desk, notes to self on iphone, ideas percolating.

Best conference moment: meeting Allison in the hotel lobby—more than an “Allison sighting”—a “God sighting”—“I will be with you!” How many times have I heard that as I jumped off a spiritual, emotional or vocational cliff?! Sometimes He shows up in the faces of strangers, other times it’s the faces of friends…

Second best conference moment: on the bus ride to Auschwitz, sitting with an old friend, having God moments back and forth, discovering a new book idea...

Worst conference moment: sitting in a chair during our first session, after weeks of being on the move, and realizing I now had to sit for four days! Definitely prefer thinking on my feet, improv and walking from one end of a city to another (even if I do whine about exhaustion and heat!).

Second worst conference moment: same as above, only in a Benadryl stupor, fighting a cold.

Food: outstanding. Best conference food I think I’ve ever had, in terms of quantity, variety, and quality. After weeks of almost exclusively carbs, I just about lived on the salads and fruits!

Scenery: also outstanding. From our dining room, we overlooked the mountain range, river and valley of Wisla.

Discovery: the seated, thinking Christ, Chrystus Frasobliwy, a common theme in Polish folk art. Kinda weird, kinda thought-provoking...good, bad and ugly examples abounded.

Discovery I wish I didn’t make: Auschwitz. Wish I could forget, but will write about next.

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