Yesterday was the first day of the conference. It was such an experience to be there in the gathers of believers from around the world. I thought I heard that there are 20 countries represented, but we have flags from each of the countries and I counted 39, so I’ll have to check to be certain. I personally talked to people from Egypt, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Colombia, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom, Germany, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya and the United States. At least that is what I remember this morning.
Before the conference started I got a feel for what the rest of the conference time will look like. Take a few pictures, be handed 20 cameras to take pictures of the delegates and their friends, have my picture taken with 20 delegates and their friends, rinse and repeat. I love how gregarious these legal professionals are and how each and every one of them is so excited to be here and are so anxious to meet everyone else.
I felt like a celebrity because everyone wanted to have a picture with “the journalist”. I might have been that I’m a white American female, it might have been that I smiled at them and became an instant friend, and it might have been the cameras. Whatever it was, I’m sure I haven’t had my picture taken so many times since I got married! Each time one person would ask to have their picture taken with me, others would jump in. This picture started with three of the Egyptian guys in it, and soon there were about 15 people from all over the world who had jumped into the picture. Sadly, I had the wrong lens on my camera to get everyone in my picture.
Though the dress is officially business casual, the delegates were mostly dressed up. Many of the women were wearing beautiful dresses with bright and colorful patterns. Many , if not most, of the men were wearing suits. All were wearing huge smiles and friendly welcomes.
We started the morning with a time of worship. The excitement everyone felt was evident in the way they were all holding up their phones and panning the room taking pictures and video of believers from around the world worshiping God. It is such a treat to be here. The band is a South African band and they played a number of songs I’m familiar with in addition to some that I had not. A couple songs had at least a word or phrase in Swahili and Zulu which was fun, and the beat made everyone want to dance, including this lovely resort staff woman.
During the day, we had devotionals, bye sharing of the gospel, presentation of this video www.fallingplates.com, which id’s a must see presentation of the gospel. Other speakers covered the subject of integrity. Speakers included Henry Aoun, Dela Adadevoh, Bob Trierweiler, Norbert Kirsch, Mark Schutt. During all the presentations, interpreters translated into either French and Arabic. I’m amazed at these talented men and women who can listen and translate and listen to what is coming next at the same time.
After an amazing day of listening to anointed speakers, we had dinner in the bush under a huge fig tree. The weather was lovely and we had a beautiful full moon to light the area.
There is a clear British influence in the food, as well as Dutch and German. Breakfast generally includes not only eggs and potatoes, but also beans and always sausage, but not our typical variety. Tea is in more abundance than coffee and we have a tea break twice a day.
The climate and environment here reminds me a lot of Southern California. There are even a lot of the plants we grew when I lived there.