I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Kenny and I traveled to Florida in January for the Young Life All-Staff conference. Every four years YL takes all staff members and their spouses – around 5,000 people – to Orlando for a week of fun. It is a week to relax, reconnect with people, and be reminded of the mission of Young Life: to reach kids for Jesus. I love that they include spouses in this; I appreciated being reminded of the mission too – why Kenny works so hard day after day.
We left a few days early and flew into West Palm Beach to stay with some dear friends of mine, the Wibbels. They were my bible study leaders and mentors in college and I’ve so enjoyed staying in touch with them all these years. The flights were very difficult for me and I didn’t feel well the entire week, but did manage to enjoy the visit some.
Alan and Marti drove us to a nearby beach and we enjoyed getting a token picture of the ocean. Alan & Kenny collected a small bag of seashells for us to take back for the kids. I was so disappointed that our visit with the Wibbels wasn’t all that I had anticipated, but am thankful for the time we had.
We spotted Air Force One in the area while we were there!
We then rented a car and drove to Orlando; the YL conference is always held on Disney property – one of the few places in the country that can house everyone! Our hotel was about ten minutes from the main hotel and conference center, which turned out being a huge blessing. Our hotel was small and we had a ground floor room which meant I didn’t have to deal with the elevators at all. So wonderful.
The week consisted of many wonderful speakers, worship times, breakout sessions, videos, concerts, and meals. I participated in very little of it but did enjoy what I could. Kenny enjoyed spending some time with guys from work in a social setting. And, he really enjoyed the couple trips to Disney parks.
One of the highlights for me was hearing from a young high school kid who was greatly impacted through Young Life. His life was a mess, he was reconnected with a YL leader, the leader invested time and energy into him, presented the gospel, and this young man is now living for Jesus. These kinds of stories make the day to day work that Kenny does worth it all, and in the end, we’re very, very thankful for the blessing that Young Life has been in our lives.