If it hadn’t been for that one GYC in Sacramento, this past convention would have been my 10th! That ruins the poesy of this post but I can still reflect on a 10yr connection with GYC…Nah, I’ll be fair:
This convention, the 9th GYC I have attended also happens to be the 9th I have volunteered at. No, I was not part of the initial group of organizers…So how did I become a volunteer at GYC 2003?
A group of us drove from Boston to Ann Arbor and arrived before registration was open. Finding the first familiar face, who happened to be running logistics that year, we asked what we could do to help. He couldn’t use our help but sent us to where registration would be set up and we became part of the registration team.
Working registration was the funnest thing because I got to meet so many people! Best of all, I got to meet someone whose messages I’d come to appreciate by listening to them on ACM tapes. This was before the fancy computerized registration system we benefit from now..! and I was assigned the names from Q through U. So I look up to see this tall, built, black man towering over me. “Skeete,” (emphasis on the “t”) he says, “Randolph Skeete.”
It was so surreal to be standing face-to-face with THE Randy Skeete! I’d only listened to his sermons like a gazillion times… The messages he preached had challenged me, encouraged me…and now here he was… in the flesh…talking to ME…! I guess I was a little star-struck huh.
These thoughts must have taken longer than I realized because the next thing I knew he was asking if he was in the right place. Yes, Q through U, that’s me! I handed him his registration information and saw him the next morning at 6.30am preaching for morning devotions (was it 6 or 6.30?).
Unfortunately, the registration people nowadays don’t get to see the CD Brooks and Mark Finleys – I’m so glad I worked registration back in 2003! haha. But, I’d imagine it’s probably still the best place to volunteer if you want to meet new people at GYC!
After helping out with registration, we were drafted into recording the seminars, a function which would now fall under the Resources Department at GYC… I loved it because it was a guaranteed spot in a seminar! There was one GYC where I volunteered as a seminar bouncer for the same reason 🙂 I guess I’m not as altruistic in my volunteerism as would become a Christian eh :-/
There’s been no turning back for me and I’ve volunteered in various capacities every GYC since my first one. Over the years I’ve volunteered for Resources, Registration, Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant, Presidential and Programming departments.
In conversation with a friend a couple days back, I asked her why she volunteered at this past GYC under the Networking Department as a Small Group Leader. She mentioned how this was her 2nd GYC and it only seemed natural that she should volunteer to help out. Kinda like, how as a Christian when you’ve had an experience with Jesus, it’s just natural for you to want to facilitate that experience for others!
This past GYC convention was a tremendous blessing. The messages spoke to my heart and challenged me to embrace the spirit of sacrifice that is a hallmark of the Christian revolution. Witnessing, however, a glimpse of the messages in the flesh as volunteers for the hospitality department sacrificed meetings, and, sometimes, sleep, to serve our guests, put the gospel in shoes for me and blessed my heart.
It is my prayer that my life will exhibit the willingness and can-do attitude that a volunteer’s true sacrifice elicits as I’ve witnessed as a GYC volunteer.