After months of considering if we could attend the national concave of our denomination, we decided flying would be the easiest for us both and staying in a hotel across from the large convention center, provided by a friend, clinched the decision.
So the arrangements were made beginning by reserving a motel in St. Louis near the airport, because we had to be there by 4 a.m. Then we reserved our air flights and a limo service from the airport in Kentucky to our Cincinnati hotel. Planning was always my forte.
Being somewhat excited, we left home in mid-morning and headed north from our hometown for the 70 mile trip north to the airport. Knowing we could not get into the motel I suggested we visit historic St. Charles. Arriving in the city we began first by driving down Riverside Avenue and immediately learned it was from this location the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition began. After visiting a number of the shops we decided to stop for a lunch in a sidewalk café that waited with welcomed cuisine.
After finishing our meal and relaxation, we decide we needed to head toward the Airport motel. This produced my second surprise. It was here the first interstate system was begun back in 1956 noted by a sign as we entered the interstate.
Soon we turned into the road that directed to our evening abode. To our sudden surprise we saw hundreds of teens in various dress and painted faces, scattered all around the entrance and then on the inside milling around like a mother stirring a large bowl of soup containing a heavy diverse mixture. Every size, shape and color of dress filled every hallway, café, sitting area, as I walked to the check-in counter wondering if we would get any sleep tonight.
The clerk assured me that in two nights they had been at the motel, not one complaint had been called to them. She mentioned they were their in a convention to taught them how to become animators.
With a bid of concern we took our key, signed for the earliest transport to the airport, then started to our room. Being tired from a long day, mixed with the excited of attending our first convention in 5 years, we prepared for bed and then sat reading and talking about who we might see.
To our surprise we did not hear one sound from anyone during the night. Rising at 2:30 the next morning we dressed and headed to the lobby where we would catch our van to the airport-leaving our car at the motel until we returned.
Everything went smooth and we arrived in plenty of time to check in our luggage, get though security, and board the plane for Cincinnati. The flight was great and our excitement increased as we viewed the countryside dissenting over the Ohio River as we had done many times.
Our limo service met us promptly and we were headed to our hotel 15 miles away. Without any problems we were registered and in our room knowing we needed to rest some allowing us to attend the evening session. All of the speakers were old time friends and I did not want to miss even one of them.
Thousands of people attended this convention and we must have hugged every one of them. The speakers, all different, each did a good job of blessing us as they presented in some way the promises of God.
There were nearly 2000 youth that joined with the convention and I am proud of how polite and capable they were.
Our denomination has a great outreach, both here and around the world, so the last night was a remarkable service as Teens carried flags representing all countries and states where we have a missionary presence-completely lining across the entire front of the large convention center. Then we viewed a stage full of missionaries, numbering at least one hundred, gathered and were each recognized by our national mission directors. It was climaxed by a commissioning service of new appointees who will be joining the veterans in their new field of endeavor. It was such an impressive service, capped by an outstanding message of our responsibility as believers to reach all men.
Then the departure came and we reversed the trip back to St. Louis and then home.
Friends, fellowship, and His protection were the highlight of these glorious days for us.
One day all of us will be reunited with friends and love ones in a place that will be without end.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” -- Ephesians 1:3 (KJV)