We had a great trip down to Georgia aside from my head pounding. It is only a six hour drive for us. Within 10 minutes of walking in the door to the conference, I saw Josh Wiley and Alex Burt from Academy #5. All of the sudden, Josh got a smirky grin, reached into his pocket and pulled out his challenge coin. I quickly produced mine, but Alex had realized when he was getting on the plane he’d left his at home.
So, I guess according to protocol, Josh buys me a mocha frapuccino because I answered the challenge (the drink of my choice), but Alex buys us both a drink because he left his at home. I’m going to be well-hydrated!
Next, I ran into my buddy, Bart McCurdy. He was on the street corner the first time I open aired (see August 31 post). I have a special place in my heart for Bart. He and Greg were such an encouragement to me. I’ll never forget their support that day on the street corner in Huntington Beach. He got to meet Bill. I was so glad to be able to introduce Bill to so many people from the Academy.
Academy members communicated through e-mail prior to the conference so we could meet for a group picture. It was great to meet so many people from previous Academys. These are the ones we could locate for the group photo holding the challenge coin, if they had it.
It was great to see Trisha Ramos again. She is always an encourager and has a heart for anyone around her. I watched as she talked to many people who came to her to share stories with her. She has a very good website to encourage believers to actively share their faith and it is especially encouraging to women. Go to http://www.fishwithtrish.com/
We were standing in line to meet Johnny Hunt and were listening to this guy with a thick accent in front of us who was talking to Johnny. I said, “Sounds Australian. I bet his name is either Trevor or Bruce,” I joked with Bill. Turns out it was Cameron Buettel! Small world!
He has a fabulous blog that I have been following called http://onceuponacross.blogspot.com/ He is originally from Australia but currently lives in Denmark. Cameron was here with his friend Andrs who also lives in Denmark. We had lunch with both of them at, of course, Chik fil a. They were such an encouragement to Bill.
As soon we walked into the restaurant, they started working the crowd. While waiting in line to place their order, they talked to some men, and then talked to a group of teens. Bill has never really been bold about witnessing to complete strangers. He has read Way of the Master and followed it for a few years, but book knowledge can never replace practical experience. That’s why I highly recommend attending the Ambassador’s Academy. Goto http://www.ambassadorsalliance.com/ to find the next training opportunity.
In his job, Bill runs into different people all the time and has prayed with people or shared to Gospel over the years. However, he freely admits that it isn’t the first thought on his mind when he encounters people. We all have fear and even are skeptical that people might yell at us or become violent if we try to witness to them. Andrs has a thick Danish accent, is very soft spoken and mild mannered, yet this man took advantage of every opportunity to share the Gospel wherever he went. Bill said he was ashamed after meeting Andrs. But, quickly got over the shame and was instead encouraged by his observation. “If that man can do this, so can I!” On Saturday night, Bill did just that.
We look forward to lots of great speakers today: Todd Friel, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, Johnny Hunt, Marshall Foster to name a few.
On a side note, I was miserable today. My eyes were watering, my head was draining and stopped up at the same time! We cut out of the last session early. Kirk was speaking. I later found out that he preached for 95 minutes! You go, Kirk! Give it to them brother.
I have not been sick in over a year. It's frustrating that I got sick with a sore throat! I haven’t had a sore throat or laryngitis in several years. I am convinced that there must be an unbelievable need on the streets of Atlanta tomorrow night.