What We Learned from GC Session

It's been a few weeks since we returned from San Antonio. Let me just tell you--it was intense. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what we do there, let me bring you up to speed.

Adventist Review (the parent of our all-star KidsView), recently became a monthly publication. But while we are at GC session, we become a daily. A daily, full-size, full-color, full-everything, publication. Let's just absorb that for little while shall, we? 

What that means is, every morning we start work on an edition which gets written, copy edited, photographed, designed, and printed in a little under 24 hours. For 8 straight days.

We had an army of web people, writers, editors, and photographers on hand and we slogged for easily 12-14 hours a day. We didn't get to attend all the colorful and inspiring evening worships and meetings because we were still working. We didn't get to walk around and meet and greet because we had to speed walk everywhere and had no time to talk unless it was a quick wave hello. We didn't get to experience San Antonio until the night before we left for the above-mentioned reasons. We lived out of suitcases for two straight weeks and we didn't have homecooked meals for that time as well.

In between all of that, we produced our KidsView blog posts (one a day) with hurriedly-taken photos and managed to squeeze time in at the booth in the exhibition hall to pass out magazines and our very popular cowboy hats. And finally, finally-- we got on a plane on the 13th of July and came home.

So here are 5 takeaways.

1. God gets you through. You can bank on that. 

It was two of the toughest weeks of our lives and we accomplished what we set out to accomplish, no one got sick, we had the energy we needed, when we needed it, and we were able to focus and plow through in time times.

2. God's Ways are Higher Than Ours

For those following the women's ordination debate and subsequent session vote, the most accurate way to describe the outcome would be to say that some thought heaven rained down on them and showed them favor and others were very, very hurt and discouraged. All I can say is this: we can't possibly fathom the good that God will accomplish inspite of perceived obstacles set in our way--in any situation. He's just bigger and better than our plans and He knows exactly how to use us to accomplish what He needs done. So we continue to trust in Him, no matter what. 

3. When God's People Gather in One Place, the Vibe is Undeniable

It's a neat experience to be with so many people in one place at one time, who are believers, as you and I are. Regardless of where we may stand on certain issues, on Sabbath morning, you knew were to find us. That common denominator was palpable and when most people left town on Sunday (we left Monday), you could feet it in the air by Sunday evening. Prior to the end of session, everywhere you went felt like home. Once it ended and people made a mass exodus to the airport, you went outside and felt immediately that you were very, very far from home. God's spirit is real, people.

4. Reunions are a Big Deal

On the final night of session, I ran into my babysitter from when I was 3 years old. That's right--I last saw this woman 37 years ago. She said I looked different. Yes, toddler to middle-age mother of a teen and tween does produce some change in appearance. But it was awesome to see her, because she took good care of me all those years ago in Beechwood apartments at Andrews University. This sort of things happened all over GC session and is one of the nicer parts of it.

5. When a 1,000-person choir gives you goosebumps, you better believe something special is happening.

This type of event affords these types of experiences. And yes, there were lots of references to heaven and what that will be like heard all over the place. I think its true and it's something to look forward to.

So that's the wrap-up. Now we are back in the swing of things and hope you'll keep reading and sharing KidsView and reading this blog from here on out.



Mark Cook