Well, the first day of the conference started at 8:30 a.m. and ended (for me) at 12:40 a.m. It was a long day.
The first day was registration, so I was not doing tech help for any seminars. I started off by moving boxes filled with bags and the bags contents that would be handed out to the people coming to the conference. Then I ended up on the luggage crew. As people arrived at the conference, we had two areas where they could drop off their luggage while they went through the registration process. I and a couple others, would help people get their bags situated, let them know where to go next and keep an eye on all the bags until they were picked up. Once people finished registering, they would come back and take their bags to their room.
By the evening we ran into a problem. A good problem to have, but a problem. There were more people than expected. Also their is a bowl game in town this week-end and the hotel had less rooms than expected. Things slowed down as figuring out where to put everyone took more time. I had a meeting at 1o pm to go over some things for day 2 – so I was relieved from watching luggage then. After the meeting, they said they needed anyone who could – to go to the registration area to help. So I head over there.
I got there and was directing traffic. By 11 pm the registration process came to a complete halt. I was assigned a space where I basically cut off the line and could not let anyone else through. You can imagine that it was frustrating for many. They had all been traveling from many parts of the country, it was late and now they were being told to wait some more. I stood with a large group of students who were very tired and they wanted to check in and get a room. Some had found their own room at another hotel and just wanted to register for the conference sessions, but I couldn’t let them through earlier. It was a bit tense.
One group had flown in from Denver. A couple of them had been stuck there in the airport just a few days back during the blizzard. Now here they were feeling stuck again.
Then a security person with the conference came by and said, “What we need to be doing now is praying. I know you are tired and this is a difficult situation, but we need to pray about it.” That is what the students did. They formed small groups and prayed about the situation, and about how they would respond to it.
Everyone was so nice to me, even though I had to give them news they didn’t want to hear at the time. I think it was an incredible witness to their love for Christ. They were able to put their own desires into a secondary position.
At around 12:40, registration had started moving again but there were still a lot of people to be processed. One of the college students working as conference staff came by my post (now directing traffic) and told me, “Why don’t you go ahead and go get some rest. I’m younger, I can hang in here and keep things moving.” I laughed, but took her up on it and scooted up to the room to get some sleep. It’s a good thing because day 2 has turned out to be another rough one. (Though there were people who were working on registration until after 2 a.m. who had to be back for a 6:15 am meeting – that would have done me in.)