Yesterday was IBEM’s 10th annual Women’s Conference. (IBEM is my Dominican church – Iglesia Bautista Evangelica de Macoris). It was my 2nd annual Women’s Conference and I have to be honest, in the days preceding I wasn’t super excited about it. I certainly wasn’t dreading it, but I remember last year being hot and long and the lunchtime took so long and was confusing. I wasn’t super excited about the workshops on setting a table and wearing make-up.
*Last year was a great conference. A lot of talented and God-loving women worked really hard to put together a day filled with many different options in order to cater to the needs of literally hundred of women. I’m just a brat.
THIS YEAR I went to the salon on Friday in order to have nice hair. I put together a new outfit and painted my nails and everything. Then I went and I cried and I sang and I translated and I ate really good rice and I nodded my head and Amen-ed and I sweated like crazy. And I did leave feeling refreshed. And encouraged and a little bit challenged. I left feeling more like myself.
The speaker this year was Damaris Carbaugh and let me tell you, she is great. So funny and so so so in love with Jesus. She practically cried through the whole thing. At the beginning of the first of three sessions she warned us – “One time after I spoke a woman came up to me afterwards and asked if I had allergies. I said, ‘Allergies? What allergies? I’m crying!'” Talking about her Jesus just makes her cry. And I get that. Often singing to and about my Jesus makes me cry. He’s just so darn beautiful, you know?
Damaris Carbaugh can also sing a song, let me tell you. She was great. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak (she travels all over the United States and Latin America – and the world? – because she is conveniently fluent in Spanish and English) TAKE IT. Her main points were – “What are you thinking about? Who are you thinking about?” “Read the bible,” and “Don’t worry. Rejoice.” Simple, but challenging.
The theme of the conference was “Enjoying the Journey” and when you signed up you got to pick which “journey” you wanted to take – Paris, Milan, New York, or Bangkok. Each “journey” had four different workshops. The workshops were on Christmas ornaments and cookies in a jar and also evangelizing in creative ways and teaching your daughter to have a biblical worldview. I signed up to go to Bangkok, but only ended up in one of the Bangkok sessions. Mostly because I was translating half of the time.
That’s right. Me. Translating. Can you believe it? I couldn’t, when I thought about all of the other much more qualified options. But I was asked to do it and I didn’t hesitate and I did it! There were plenty of words I didn’t know, but there were plenty (like, almost 300) capable and intelligent women present at this conference who were capable of understanding what baking powder was when I held up the thing of baking powder, so it was cool that I didn’t always know the words. It was actually kind of fun.
For someone who has struggled with pride her whole life (which is understandable when you think about how awesome I am) and who usually avoids doing things that she’s not good at, translating two sessions from English to Spanish in front of 30 women I don’t know should’ve been terrifying. But it wasn’t! Which I believe is a little something we call growth. Hallelujah.
After the conference I finished reading The Golden Compass (book report is forthcoming) and watched Scrubs and laid on my bed being exhausted for a couple of hours. Then Luis and Josue came over and we (me, Luis, Josue, and Melissa) went to the Estrellas game. Josue’s mom Candy met us at the game. She’s great. Baseball games are a great way to spend your time, in my opinion. If only they sold nachos at the stadium like they do in the states…. Anyway, the Estrellas won and we had fun. They gave us Thunder Sticks!