Impact – Day 2 and 3

The last two days have been pretty similar. The conference begins in the morning with a main session that everyone attends. After the main session there are seminars held throughout the hotel. At those seminars, I’ve been helping (along with 2 others) make sure that any audio/video equipment that the speaker needs is working properly. Most of my time has been spent setting up projectors, getting them connected to the presenter’s computer and making sure it all works o.k. Some rooms have built in screens and some don’t. For those that don’t we carry a portable screen to the room. (If they are using video. Not all rooms need it.)

All the seminars start at the same time, and the people speaking usually get there 10 or 15 minutes early. That makes for a very hectic time. In between we try to have as much as possible in place before hand. Sometimes it feels like a foot race, as my phone keeps ringing and I run from room to room, trouble shooting problems or delivering things that are needed. So it has been tough to get a feel for how the conference is going. I’m so focused on making sure my little part gets done.

Every worker I run into has a similar look and when you ask how they are the most frequent response is “tired”. So we are all in the same boat – doing our best to try and make sure the attendees are able to really get good value from their time here.

Tomorrow I get a rest. Instead of having sessions, the attendees and many staff will be going out on buses to do evangelism in various parts of the city. I’m not really needed, and it would be fun to go along, but I think it would be wise on my part to regroup a bit. There are a couple small seminars I’ll be setting up but nothing big.

The kids were to be in daycare while Ingrid worked the bookstore, but a cough has kept them out of it so far. So Ingrid has been watching them in the day and working the bookstore after they go to bed. Her shift has been 9:30 pm to 1:00 am. That’s good for me because it means I have to be here by then and can rest a bit. It’s tougher on Ingrid, who is not really a night person.

But when I feel a little run down I remind myself about all the believers past and present who paid a high price for their faith. That helps me to keep things in perspective. My next report should be about day four- the day of evangelism.

Impact – Day 1

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.)

Impact – Day -1

On the morning of the 26th we made the drive from Orlando to Atlanta. It went pretty well and the children were very well behaved. It is a very pretty drive. Lots of trees, green fields, horses, cattle and natural beauty. Of course I also have a new rule– if you can avoid driving to or around Atlanta it is a good idea. I’ve been in the area twice in my life and both times it was crazy. We hit traffic 50 miles out of Atlanta and it was stop and go the rest of the way. Pretty crazy. We were late but we made it here.

The hotel is a part of the CNN center. From our room we look down on the food court and a large elevator that goes up 4 or 5 stories into a giant globe. It is part of the CNN tour. We are smack dab in the middle of downtown, across the street from the olympic park. It is cold here compared to Orlando. But not too bad.

We had some orientation stuff to do, got everything settled and tried to get some rest for the first day of the conference which would be registration for the attendees. I’ll write about that in the next entry.

Merry Christmas!

Well, this is a little early, but things are about to get a little busy for us and I figured that I had better do this now. Our December newsletter just went out, so if you are on our mailing list, you should get that soon. Included is a limited edition Peck family photo with magnet for easy hanging on the fridge.

Our kids are very excited about Christmas. We really enjoy their excitement not only about getting gifts but about the Christmas story. The kids read it together on video for their grandparents this week and it was a joy to our hearts to see them so enthused about the birth of Christ.

The 26th we will be up early to load the van and head north. We will be making an 8 hour drive (hopefully) up to Atlanta to be workers at the Impact conference. Please pray for our drive and for the conference. Especially pray for our endurance and for the kids to stay healthy. We look forward to seeing God work in the lives of the thousands of people expected to be in attendance.

We are praying for you, that this would be a merry and blessed Christmas.

December 2006

It is hard to believe that this year is almost over. We’ve been in Florida for 6 months now. I must confess, we still have some unpacked boxes in the garage. But we are getting settled in. If you get our newsletter in the mail, keep an eye out for the December letter. It will have a photo of the family for slapping on the fridge. We hope you’ll put it up and pray for us as it reminds you about us and our work. We need that prayer support.

The kids are excited for Christmas. The day after Christmas, we are driving to Atlanta. We are going to be workers for the Impact national conference. We are looking forward to helping out, and the energy of being around thousands of students who are fully committed to serving God in this world.

Impact is a ministry we support every day through our work at headquarters, and we are so glad that God allows us to serve in that capacity. At the same time it will be fun to get out from behind the computers for a few days and get out there where the work is happening. We leave here the 26th and will be in Atlanta through New Years.

When we get back, as odd as it seems, we will need to start making our plans for the summer. Next July will be here before we know it, and that is when we plan to visit Phoenix before we head up to Colorado for our national staff conference. (We have one every 2 years.)

God has been very good to us this year. We can’t thank Him enough for all He has done. I pray that it was a good year for you too.