In the past I have helped direct conferences but few as evangelistic as Soul Food. Learning how to guide a conference for around 200 students and 11 staff made me anxious and nervous. I made sure to spend time in prayer and fasting but when Friday November 4th came around I was still worried, furthermore that day was raining (quite rare in Southern California) which made me even more nervous for students’ safety. What I did in response to my own anxiety and worry was to take a little wooden cross I had gotten from South America. It was a reminder to me of the goodness of the cross, that Christ died for my peace and much more. In our staff meetings at Catalina I made it a priority to take out this cross and place it somewhere visible in the room to remind us all that Christ is with us. Sometimes as a minister of the gospel I forget to keep God at the center and I just do things. I have learned that my visionary gift was best used to remind the staff community to remember God at the center of our conference, and to give thanks to God for the many things He has done.
Soul Food was also different for me as I was not with Mesa, I had chosen John and Nicole as student leaders of our group and gave them vision to challenge the Christians to reach out to the non-Christians. This was more of a strategic move to set up students while I was busy directing the conference. What I thought was a barrier to growth on campus actually became a breakthrough moment as the students became more of a stronger community without me constantly micro-managing them. Jesus began defining and developing the group through their transparency and intimacy. Reflecting over the conference, this group of students that came with us was not only the most that we ever brought from Mesa but it was also filled with potential leaders from Mesa IV. I personally felt that my gifting in evangelism, leadership and vision helped shape Soul Food 2011. I could not have done it with the amazing student and staff team that I worked with and prepared, yet overall it was God that shaped the conversations and conversions of Soul Food. O Praise Him!