(4/10/2012) The tour has officially started. First stop – Owensboro, Kentucky.
Day one: Arrived at the airport in Orlando, FL early only to get bumped from my flight to Indianapolis. After a 4.5 hour delay I was in the air. When I arrived I quickly picked up my luggage and met Noel Davis, my banquet area director. Noel and I had plenty of time to catch up and share stories during the long drive to Kentucky. When we finally arrived in Owensboro we checked into our rooms and got some sleep to be sharp for the next day.
Day two: Woke up and had a nice breakfast at McDonald’s. Afterward we left for the church to set up for the nights event. It didn’t take long to maneuver four tables, set up a screen and projector, sound system and display table. Once that was done we grabbed some lunch and went back to the hotel to relax a little. I also thought it would be a good idea to practice some more. I was beginning to get nervous.
The function of the banquet tour is to raise awareness and support for Bible translation projects at Wycliffe Associates. We start by serving dinner, usually catered by a local restaurant. Noel, who MC’s the event, will then show a series of videos and talk a little about the need for Bible translation and how you can be credited with being a part of the process. Once he’s done I get up and talk for 20 to 25 minutes, sharing my stories of how I was called into ministry and working with Bible translators around the world, setting them up with the technology needed to get translations done faster. Finally, a survey is filled out and a chance to give.
As the time came closer for me to get up and speak I started to sweat. I wasn’t sure how I was going to give my opener. I fumbled and completely left out half of my intro. From there it got better but I still struggled at times to find my place because I tried making a last minute change. In all I went over by 4 minutes because my stories became a bit drawn out form poor pacing.
Still, I did receive some nice comments afterward so I know it wasn’t all bad. Three people signed up to receive my newsletters and a couple of people asked lots of questions which was encouraging to me. I especially liked some of the reactions I was getting as I shared. Hopefully things will improve as I go back to the way I originally practiced.
My talk goes something like this:
After the opener I start by sharing a fun food story while I was in Nigeria. This gets some good laughs and disgusted faces. From there I talk about my call to serve and what my role is with Wycliffe Associates. Then I get straight into some great stories which took place in Cameroon. After a flashback story of a friend who missed an opportunity to serve I take everyone back to Africa. Finally I end with an Is It Worth It All ending. This draws a lot of emotion from the crowd.
When we were all done we packed up, why it takes twice as long as the setup I’ll never know. As soon as we got back to the hotel around 11:00 p.m. I got to work writing thank you notes to those who signed up for my newsletters.
Sign up for my newsletter here: http://bit.ly/A6t5mE
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Today I’m happy to get some rest and a chance to write this blog entry. I’ll add more as the trip continues.
If you’re in the areas we’ll be at I’d love to have you stop by and hear what I have to say. Link here: http://bit.ly/Ih5qfA