my hearts wrap up after Leadership 2009:
I was holding the doors open to the hallway that led everyone to their much needed break after a hard slamming session on Friday morning.
Greeters are supposed to smile, say, "good morning", point to the snack table and be generally cheerful.
It just wasn't in me. After all we'd just heard, it just wasn't in me.
No matter, it would have been inappropriate anyway because they were all in that room with me, absorbing the hard hitting, world rocking truths I'd just heard as well.
I have never seen so many gloriously uncomfortable faces.
We were uncomfortable with the information we'd just heard not because it was wrong but because it was so right that you could not ignore it.
You either had to DO something about it, and right away,
Well, there was no 'or'.
Not only that, we had just been given the keys to our uncomfortableness, making it glorious.
We'd been delivered hard hitting truths with the most practical, hands on, anyone can do this, stop doing what you think is helping and actual help kind of tools.
It was shattering the core of our souls.
No matter who you were, what you worshipped on a daily basis, your age or your passions. It was so uncomfortable and I, I'm sure along with thousands of other people around the world, had never been so happy to be that shaken.
There is no way for me to recap the entirety of the sessions I was able to attend - which were actually only 1/2 of the Summit because of my volunteer position coupled with not wanting to leave the girls with a babysitter for too long.
I'm going to recap by name, give resource for my own bookmarking (and strongly suggest you go be a part of them if you aren't already) and put here the quotes I wrote down that are ringing in my heart louder than any bell has ever rung there.
Main hitting point~
dealing with and being the church during the recession and accepting things the way they are and probably will be permanently.
our country has changed and may never 'go back to the way it used to be'
we will not experience the old 'normal' anytime soon, if ever
we are all leading in a new reality
this is the time to pray, plan and stop to be the church to the church.
learn the beauty, the power and the potential of the God's work, through your church
to those who's incomes are not as effected in this recession (and it's as if he was screaming this in the inner core of my ear drum):
STEP UP AND BE THE CHURCH.
Listen slowly to God.
Show up to life grace-filled and optimistic.
author of The Monkey and the Fish
Main hitting point~
being Christians to the fringe
in referring to the fringe of society~
Rahab had the 'key' to the city.
serve the people in the margins of society.
Failure is Success to God:
your failure is what the world connects with you on
the world doesn't always connect with success, they always connect with failure
God uses people's stories more than He uses their 'spiritual gifts' or passions.
Always have the eyes of a father.
Dave hit on all the time we spend on 'vision' and 'vision statements' - making them, refining them, perfecting them and to this he had to say:
Haven't we already been given the vision?
Relationships TRUMP visions.
Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing.
It's what happens outside the building that's most important.
Main hitting point~
Help Africa help themselves.
Africa needs TRADE not AID to fight poverty.
there is no country in history that has developed from hand-outs
we don't see the opportunities when we look at Africa - we see the problems.
the conversation has to change.
we need to look at Africa as a continent full of entrepenuaers and customers.
how many continents do you know of people who survive on $1 a day?
that takes some serious entrepreneurship.
Aid is really NOT aid.
it creates chronic dependance.
ask yourself often: what is the full impact of my compassion?
Africans have been conditioned to BELIEVE that help will always have to come from without.
This does not have to be true.
Kindness IS helping people help themselves.
You want to help Africa??
Go buy an African garment, buy African music, buy trade-free African coffee, buy conflict-free African diamonds, etc....
Notes~ (my thoughts/summary of things he said)
so many of the natural resources in Africa are exported as raw materials and processed somewhere else.
Andrew's message was to help Africa figure out ways to process/package/bring to market their own product, bringing in (insert high percentage here, don't remember what it was!) % more money to the country than is coming now.
Andrew has a coffee company that employs over 14,000 local farmers in Uganda and gives the farmers 50% of the profit.
He had an extremely hard time convincing the Ugandan farmers to join with him because he wasn't white. How could he help?
That's the 'conditioning' he's talking about.
the actual quotes I have from Andrew seem so much weaker and less dumbfounding than his heart and information because so much of it had to do with things that sounded like an economic class that taking notes was way out of my league.
I followed what he said and was changing right there in my seat but do go and research his mission.
it's gloriously uncomfortable and easy.
author of Too Small to Ignore
my page of notes and quotes will not do this justice in any way and my tears are still welling up.
I couldn't see through my tears enough to write enough notes and even if I could, I wouldn't have had the strength to pick up the pen at many points in his story.
this man is the epitome of redemption.
the story of abuse in his past is unlike any I have ever heard - I'd go so far as to say it was the worst story I'd ever heard....and here he is - redeemed and working hard in God's kingdom....very hard.
here are the measly quotes I do have~
they're not going to care until they know WHY you care
forgiveness does not mean forgetting, or that it was okay.
forgiveness does not mean you will forget BUT you will never forget what you will not forgive.
forgiveness does mean giving up the right for revenge.
forgiveness says you took yesterday, you cannot have tomorrow, GET OUT of my life.
(and he had point after point on forgiveness - his slides are downloadable from the Leadership website)
sometimes we Christians limit the definition of the word redemption.
no experience is wasted, God will orchestrate even the unthinkable to further His kingdom.
(from a guy who was severely abused as a child and now is the president of an organization that rescues those same kids.)
my favorite quote from the entire summit came from Wes:
My prayer is that when I reach heaven and run into Jesus arms
that as He is wiping the tears from my eyes He is also wiping the sweat from my brow.
one last resource, I didn't hear her speak but Jessica Jackely, co-founder of
spoke and I caught the drift that she was pretty sweet!
Kiva.org is a free-loan site -
I'm sure that's not the correct terminology but basically, you go, donate $25, along with several other strangers, that money goes to someone (who you get to pick and follow) in a struggling country. They start a business with the loan, pay back the loan and within a 6-12 month period, you get your $25 back....either to withdrawal or reinvest in another persons life.
um. that's just cool.
Jake and I will be picking our person soon and then I'll put the cool Kiva button on my blog so you all can go and do it with me because really? $25 for most of us is almost too easy, I'm sure!
did you make it this far????
I’ve just recapped and now I’m gloriously uncomfortable all over again.