Tuesday, April 18, 2017

YWAM Europe United | Family without borders

Last year in March we, the YWAM Europe leadership, started talking and dreaming about a huge YWAM Europe gathering along the theme of "Family without borders". The last big meeting was in 2007, so it was time. We were pretty certain it was supposed to happen in Albania, where we had hotels ready to give us a great deal (as it is off season), but there was no place for loads of people to meet - so the idea of the tent on the beach (which is owned by the hotels) was born... and it became a reality!
And 750 people from the YWAM Europe Family came along to make it all happen: I had the privilege of being one of the MC's for the first night, and actually started the whole shebang off!! If I had been clever, I would have got a photo of that - but you will have to make do with the crowd instead:
We spent 3 days meeting in the mornings and evenings and having afternoons "off" to gather in smaller groups. The downside of having so many people meant the meal queues (even with 3 places to line up) were pretty long - but I had some of my best catch-up/getting-to-know-you conversations in those lines, so it wasn't too bad.
In the afternoons, we had time to meet in smaller groups, or be a part of the many workshops or seminars that were offered. Central Europe had a meeting on one afternoon - and of course I don't have a picture of that. The 120 people from our area got together to share what is going on in our area - especially as we are going through a leadership transition... It was a great time of just being in the smaller family :)

The last afternoon they also offered us an outing to a Roman amphitheatre - and a place where Paul could have possibly preached!
All week I roomed with 3 others, including my good friend Belinda, and here we are at the amphitheatre with our matching T-shirts (which is the logo for her shop in Ireland, "Good Craic"), We figure if we room together, we at least get to catch up in the mornings and evenings in the room - otherwise it is pretty hit and miss how much we see each other as there are so many people who we want to see!
 There was also a chance to meet up with people that we normally work with virtually - here is the Communication Team for Central Europe (along with some new recruits!) which I lead. Great bunch of people!
And then it was all over and time for the tent to come down... it was easier taking it down than putting it up, but not by much - as they had to figure out ways to fold it all up without getting sand in it! Luckily there were a LOT of willing hands to help...
 After the conference the leaders for Central Europe had meetings for two days - it was a good time of catching up and also for Yohanan (third from left) to pass on the baton to me and Florin (second from right) as the new leaders for this area. We also enjoyed the fancy place to meet - in the wedding hall up on the 6th floor!
Where you can get pictures of the sunset like this one... (the pics from the beach weren't bad either!)
Then it was time to say good bye and head back to Bosnia, after a great week at the beach with my "family"!

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