Youth Conference in Beijing was April 2nd-3rd. I left early in order to get to Thailand and was SO bummed to miss the last session with my Beijing kids, but that’s what happens when you try to do two conferences at the same time. (I was a day late to the conference in Cha-am). I’ll tell you about Cha-am later, but for now, here’s some thoughts on the conference in Beijing.
It was a bit different this year, for several reasons. We had an AMAZING line up of content. Mark Oestreicher came out to speak, and the Joe Aylor Band came out to lead worship. I spent some time with the band the day before the conference and I was very impressed with them – they had a great attitude and were really interested in our kids. I appreciated that greatly.
I had a wonderful time with our kids. It’s always a struggle for me at events to balance logistical responsibilities (and my tendency to get so busy with tasks that I skip over people) and engaging with the people at the events. I think I did better this time than in previous years, but there is definitely still room for growth. At least I noticed when I was pushing people aside because I was busy being task-focussed. Noticing it is a step forward to stopping before I do it…
Anyway, instead of telling a million stories, here are some of my favourite things from the weekend (in chronological-ish order):
- The description of me in the conference pack* (how often does someone write a description that sums up what you do pretty perfectly?)
- The super-sweet hotel staff – and how they laughed at my Beijing accent (when I speak Chinese)
- Introducing the band to the magic of Tim-Tams
- Hugging kids from around China who I’ve been seeing at camps and conferences for years now :)
- The most perfect Summer Palace weather (and the beautiful magnolias)
- Truth bowl!
- That 15 people staying at my house wasn’t crowded
- Being put to bed (with hugs and kisses) by my girls
- Waking up my girls with the song “Sleeping In” by Nevertheless
- One of my boys telling me “You look beautiful today”
- Sharing Aussie chocolate with those who appreciate it!
- Everyone dancing the Rev dance for “Marvellous Light”
- Marko’s eagle message – amazing
- How Marko’s eagle message led so perfectly into my seminar
- Kids’ responses to my seminar as we stood around talking afterward
- Running into Lynn at the airport and being able to share with each other about the different conferences we’d both just attended
* Tanya Crossman is a long time Beijing youth worker. She has been a volunteer and staff at both BICF and Capital Community Church for the past seven years. She writes and maintains the Youth in Asia blog, helps lead Rev and Bongos and sometimes ReGen and sometimes Crossroads. She does a little bit of everything.