So, if you want to know what The Call is, you can read the post where I wrote about it. I wanted to share the adventure for me “Behind The Call.” I have many stories like these, and here is yet another. This is actually a letter I wrote to the person who I met in Atlanta, the one that prayed for me when I visited Atlanta’s IHOP. A day or two before the rally in Sacramento (back in September), I get a one line email from him asking if I’d be going. This letter was written a few days later (which was 8 months ago) to recap the outcome of my decision to go.
I wanted to tell you what happened, so you’d know what trouble you caused (joking)… or so I’d have some record of what came of this trip.
First, i wasn’t going to go. I thought about it. Then I came to a place where if someone close enough to me was going, I’d go. That didn’t look like it was happening.
Then I got your email. which was nice, b/c I’d only met you once, and I was honored to be remembered! Well, for whatever reason, that was a good enough reason to go. So, I became more proactive in finding a ride. Still, it didn’t look like it was happening.
I was in my “prayer attic” on Friday. It was like 2 pm, and I’d have a 4+ hr drive to get to Sacramento. I didn’t think it was going to happen. As I’m having my moment with God, I thought, “well, I dont have my computer or phone… I bet someone is going to call me about a ride, and I’m going to miss it.” I came back to my room at little past 3:00 to the “missed call” ring on my phone. I’m like, “NOOOO!…. I MISSED MY RIDE!”– 3 missed calls. Luckily, I missed the last call by just 1 minute (whew!) and rode up to The Call with 2 older ladies (50+ yrs old)… hey, whatever.. right?
Friday night was cool. It reminded me of a combination between Jesus Culture and Live 8. “The Call” and Lou Engle have been a bit too politically driven for my personal preference, but Friday night was primarily praise and worship.
[I’m actually going to write a blogpost about The Call, but i wanted to write down the more (personally) interesting stuff that happened somewhere (here, right now).]
Friday night, they asked for volunteers. I was with older ladies, and I wasn’t able to hang around. Although, I’m somewhat of a volunteer-aholic (as my adviser would say). In any case, Saturday morning, I got there early (7:30 AM). Dont know why; just to walk around.
Ok.. well, I did spend a lot of the time walking around looking for a few people I wanted to see. You were one of them, but I wasn’t sure how that’d happen. I knew for sure I wanted to see you though, but it’s not like I had anything to say to you. It just made me happy to see you (twice!…even). I dont know what that is– it’s like you are family, but we arent related, or like we are close friends, when we’ve met briefly once. Maybe its the sort of thing that makes more sense in the next life. Anyhow, it’s definitely something that is a rare, but welcomed occurrence for me, and if you haven’t gathered by now, I meet A LOT of people everywhere I go.
I was trying to fast, but sometimes I go with the “I wont eat unless there is an opportunity to eat” (without going out of my way). As I walk by the volunteer tent, I was offered a bagel. She said, “it’s for volunteers”… I said, “I’m not a volunteer”… she said, “go ahead”… I say, “ok, but do you still need help?”… I signed up to be a volunteer, hoping that I’d get something cool to do, like driving golf carts or going back stage– Anything but handing out waters.
I got assigned to handing out waters… ugh… from morning till 2 pm!!!… (those volunteer shifts, btw.. are way to long.. I know, b/c I do a lot of big events). I figured I need to humble myself in order to be ok at an overstaffed water tent so far back that there were no people to even give waters to. I need to be ok if I’m placed at a place with no action.
Actually, there was some action. I got to encourage a young college student to pursue an academic mentor and gave her a bunch of websites (including my contact info) and academic/life advice. Anyhow, as soon as a golf cart pulled up, I somehow convince the drivers to let me ride around. Their names were Alex and Ryan. After I rode around, I got the young college student a ride too, she seemed too shy to ever do that. We were the envy of the other volunteers at the water tent.
Later, towards the end of my shift, I saw Alex in his cart without Ryan. Hey, why not hop on? I’m good help. I ended up moving so many.. sooo many cases of water (i’m sooo sore.. haha). I LOVED riding around and helping out. It’s times like this that I try to stay extra attentive to God, b/c I dont want to miss a fun adventure.
In between riding around, I got to see the friends I made at the Chinese-Fremont Church, from that first onething conference I went to (made some new friends too). I was looking for them, when I ran into you…(mission accomplished! x2). Anyhow, eventually, I met and made some good impression with The Call staff from KC and got to give a hand back stage. It was great chatting with the VIPs a little bit… and I got to meet Sarah Yang.. which… well, never mind, that’s another story for another time.
This is not the first time I work my way up from random bystander to backstage all access…haha… it makes me laugh, but, you know what, it made me laugh that I was riding to Sacramento and staying with 3 older ladies in a hotel room randomly too.
By the end of the night I was driving my own golf cart. Earlier that day, I asked the volunteer coordinator whether he needed more drivers, and he was like, “nice try”…. heh heh!… There were a couple young people I got to encourage while I was working The Call. They were enchanted by my golf cart privileges– some of them worked with me earlier that day and when they saw me at the end of the day, were like, “THEY LET YOU DRIVE!??”… hahahah!
While I’m driving, some kid volunteers rode around with me, and I got to talk to them about life. I seem to like doing that. I’m teaching them how to adventure around at big events like this. I mean, I worked all day, and I loved every moment of it, b/c I get to connect with people and be around worship and prayer all day.. haha. It may be too politically minded, but I DO love the intensity.
by the end of the night, I was so in the loop. I was asked to be part of the show management meeting with the KC staffers at the end of the night. I got some business cards and emails from people who are on staff for IHOP. They said that I could email them to see if there’s somewhere I could stay when I visit. Gosh, I love these people.
This is my facebook status: “when will i get too old for my adventures? still not sure when that will happen: took a random trip up north for a huge event. wasnt sure i was going until the day of. somehow became a volunteer. worked my way up to golf cart status. got to go back stage & chatted with the VIPs. ended the night driving my own cart around the place. got to see all the old friends i wanted to see. made 20 new friends. AWESOME WEEKEND!”
oh yea… That second you saw me. You were carrying a table. I had gotten left behind by the older ladies. They (nicely) had taken all my stuff with them including my phone (which had died anyhow) and my computer. So I had to ninja my way some internet access to get their number). You saw me looking for a phone… hahaha. I’m resourceful too though, so I was also figuring out what I’m going to do to get home since I’d be stuck in Sacramento without knowing anyone from this place. “oh, God… what will you have me do now?”
It worked out; I got home.
I told the older ladies the amazing time I had, and they were disinterested b/c I didn’t take enough time to be still and had missed the whole point of the event. I guess I wasnt in the total mindset of the event, b/c I didnt think I was going to go. All I know, is that it was an honor to be there. I definitely paid attention to the speakers, worship, and prayer, but maybe the older women are right though, there’s still a lot I dont understand.
hahaha… What in the world?…. How did u get me into this?… Where are you going to make me go next?… Argentina? At this point, I’ll go anywhere u suggest. You are 2 for 2, as far as awesome adventures go.
Sincerely, Your Friend
(Photos were taken mostly from http://www.sacbee.com/2010/09/04/3006131/evangelical-followers.html)