DAY 1 : Friday, May 30th, was brought in with thunderstorms and rain but today was the day! Today was the beginning of the the 22nd Annual Mississippi State Youth Conference. This year’s theme was “GOD FOCUSED”, geared from Colossians 3:1, 2 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Excitement and anticipation filled my spirit the night before as I was packing. It had been years, since I attended a youth conference and now I was going to be counselor. Wait.. Am I getting old? Nah, just better.
So as I drove through Mississippi University for Women gates, I seen church vans, U-Hauls, and people everywhere. My excitement grew even more to be in the presence of so many like-minded people. Even the dim skies and rain couldn’t steal my sunshine.
As I observed the young ladies in the area, I noticed one sitting by herself. I asked her her name and asked why was she sitting by herself with so many other people around. She replied softly “I like to be alone.” I knew better, and so I got to know her a little more. After being lost for an hour, I finally found the dormitory we were staying in. Who knew you could get lost on such a small campus? As I dragged the largest suitcase I own(for a 2-day weekend) to the fifth floor to my room I was greeted by the young lady who was sitting all alone. She wanted to be my roommate, and I was delighted. Can’t you tell by the picture below:
Day 1 was complete for the most part ,so we called it a night because my alarm clock for 6:00AM would be singing before we knew it.
DAY 2: We were woken up by a train passing through the city at 5:00AM. The twin bed had slept so comfortably and not to mention the beautiful sunshine peaking through the blinds was the first sign of an awesome day ahead. My roomie loves gospel music as I do, so I pulled out my Labtop to get us some tunes. We maneuvered around the room just a humming like honeybees. You couldn’t tell it was 6:00AM. As I was touching up my makeup, I felt someone watching me. It was the young lady I had met who now was my roommate. She wanted alil added spice to her face, so I put a thin gold line across her eyes. She lit up like a firecracker on the 4th of July. Just the smallest gesture brightened her mood. So then we were
off to meet others who were attending the conference.
I met girls who shared their aspirations, their dreams, and the challenges they face with me. I met an 18 year old girl who has diabetes. I was so shocked, and to meet a teenager who didn’t know how to operate an elevator. I made it my business to encourage, to share my experiences, and to teach her how to use the elevator and other technology. I also had the opportunity to teach a “Respect Yourself” session to children ages 9-11. Boy did I learn a lot from there. They were prudent and comprehend very well for their age. A few couldn’t stay awake due up their long night, but I know without a doubt they took the main points away. Here are a few pictures of them oh so focused on the lesson and en route to the classroom:
The amazing thing about teaching the class was later on that day, a few students would point me out and tell someone “Hey, that’s my teacher.” or come hug me. It does my heart very well that God was able to use me in such a way.
DAY 3: SUNDAY MORNINGGGG!! It’s nothing like it. I couldn’t wait to hear the Word of God brought by Bro. Archie Bennett. I knew it was going to be powerful. I knew it would resonate with everyone in the room especially the younger children. The message came from Colossians 3:1,2 entitled “I hate my life.” Whoa, you might say but there are many people who are struggling from day to day because they hate their lives. Bro. Bennett gave countless examples with biblical references on how to live a God Focused life, how to not give up, and how to not compare your life with what you see on TV. The children were moved, the adults were moved, and most importantly God was glorified! I didn’t want worship service to end, but the time had come to return to our prospective places. Church vans covered every corner, U-Hauls fuller than what they were when they first arrived, comfortable attire was the norm. I drove off with hope for all generations, God’s love, and with a even stronger desire to make a difference in the world.