Our annual conference is about to start! I can hardly wait to spend the week in the company of 300 people: pastors and church leaders with their wives, as well as volunteers and paid staff who come together to make the event a reality. Since the location is thirty minutes away from where I live and the days are long, I’ll spend the nights in the home of friends who live there.
The logistics of housing, feeding, and transporting everyone are enough to make anyone dizzy, especially when you realize that this is Africa and we can’t just rent a conference center. Take the meals, for example. Our employees constructed an outdoor kitchen on the premises, and for the past few days our drivers have been scouring town for all the ingredients necessary to feed 300 people for three and half days. A team of cooks will prepare the meals from scratch on an open fire, while a crew of volunteers will run the serving line, including verifying that each person returns all the dishes and utensils they take each time. Those items must then be washed, using buckets of water, before the next meal.
The work that I have done on conference registration in the past few months culminated in the assembly of registration packets on Saturday. I was thankful for the hard-working volunteers who knocked out the task with me in just a few hours. As attendees arrive on Tuesday, they will receive an envelope containing their name badge, meal card, and personalized book order form. Those needing lodging will receive their room assignments and linens. And those of us who have worked behind the scenes will handle late registrations or any problems that arise at check-in.
I hope you will join me in praying that the conference will be a spiritual blessing to all participants. I am thankful for the strength and grace that God has given me to meet the increasing pressures of preparations, and I trust that His provision will continue through the conference week itself. May He be glorified, and His people edified, through our labors in His service.