20 April 2010

Homecoming week...

Last week we hosted a John Maxwell Leadership Conference at GBI... I expected that many people would come because it is great material... I also expected that many people would come because they desire to learn more about leadership... 

What I didn't expect was that so many would come just to see each other... of the 170 participants at our conference last week 40 were GBI alumni... or 60% of our alumni over the last 2 years...  many (including Reuben, Nathan and Charles in this picture)  traveling 5-7 hours by bus and taxi for the 2 day event...
 
I can't even begin to describe how great it was to see the alumni laughing, talking and embracing each other like long lost family members... many of them stayed in the dorms with the current students... and ended up talking almost the entire night... others who live close by were their early and staying late until they had greeted all their friends...  
All in all the conference was a success... in spite of the huge downpour of rain we had each morning the participants all made it through the mud to hear each session... the food was great and served on time (a monumental achievement)... but for me it would have been a success if it were just a gathering of our former students telling stories about life after GBI...

Friday after the conference I got to talk with 2 alumni that faced many challenges while at GBI... mainly being away from their families... one has 9 children and the other 5... I asked them both if they would do it again... both got huge smiles on their faces and laughed... "Pastor Jeff" one replied "our families are the ones who have benefited the most! We now know how to love our wives and care for our children"

The conference was nice... but for me the best part was having our alumni come home for a visit...

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