The interesting thing about my strong urge to go to the One Project was that I had no idea what would happen at the conference. It was just an event that I saw on the internet. I didn’t know anyone who had attended before. I didn’t even know what would happen there. I just knew they’d be talking about Jesus.
Upon entering the hotel, I was greeted with the gathering’s logo on the floor of a beautiful hotel.
The atmosphere was amazing. It was apparent that thought and planning had gone into every detail.
The first night, I attended a small discussion group where we discussed the relevancy of our religion. Then, the next day, the main events began.
Throughout the day, various speakers got up and preached short, 20 minute messages about The One, Jesus, and how He should be supreme in the Seventh-day Adventist church. While we are a people known for good health, great educational system and worshiping on Saturday, the Sabbath, first and foremost, we should be known for Jesus.
The music was moving.
The messages were thought provoking. Most importantly, I had an encounter with Jesus.
The gathering lasted for 2 days. At the end of the second day, I had one more session to attend. It was kindof late, so I considered skipping it, but after the trouble I went through to get into the gathering, I was determined to attend all of the meetings.
I went in the room and sat in the middle of the row. A few minutes after the session started, a group of people entered and sat on either side of me. From time-to-time they would whisper to one another over me, and I thought to myself, how can I politely ask them if they want to sit next to each other without sounding rude. I turned the words over in my mind, but I couldn’t come up with a polite way. So I just sat there and accepted my fate.
When the discussion was over, I got up, and looked over to my right. I saw a smiling face. The conversation I’d have with the girl sitting a few seats away would change so many things about my life.
We exchanged niceties. I immediately noticed her accent (and I’m sure she noticed mine). Turns out she had come for the One Project all the way from Sydney, Australia. I was impressed. She asked if I was there alone, and I said yes. She asked how I liked the conference and other bits of small talk. She asked what church I attended, and I told her I had recently returned from living in Lebanon. I hadn’t picked a new church yet. She recommended a church she had recently attended called Epic (which I love by the way. Great recommendation!). We exchanged polite words and said goodbye.
I wandered over to another part of the hotel to catch up with a family friend. As I was chatting with him, this girl, Bec, somehow found me on the other side of the hotel and asked what I was doing for the rest of the evening. I had no plans, so she invited me to go out for hot chocolate with a group of them. I immediately thought, ah! No way! I’m so tired. I don’t want to go. As I thought this, a small voice (the Holy Spirit) reminded me, “Didn’t you ask me to help you to be open to meeting the people you’re supposed to meet?” Upon hearing this reminder, I knew I couldn’t say no. I had opened myself to God’s leading, so I had to follow it. I agreed to go out with them.
When I walked out of the room and saw the group I’d be hanging with, I thought to myself, what will I have in common with this group of Australians? I was tired and jet-lagged, and I had a writing assignment to finish. In any case, I decided to suck it up and make the best of it.
While I was worried about the small stuff, God was working behind the scenes on my behalf, as I know He always does…