This weekend I spoke at the Awana Ministry Conference at the First Baptist Church of Cape Coral. Fun workshops and friendly people. Seemed to be good enthusiasm for starting MDJ (Modern-Day-Joseph) plans in their churches. I also met Elizabeth who is actually attending the Florida Conferences. (For those of you who attend Ministry Conferences – Elizabeth is the mom of James – the boy in the video.) Sweet lady.
Although I’ve been to Florida many times – this was the first time I have been to the Southwest coast – nice area.
The keynote speaker encouraged leaders to be good examples and to take their responsibility seriously. I had met him before during a truly memorable experience that I had before I did a blog. Maybe someday I’ll write about it – talk about a once-in-a-lifetime-experience!!!!! (In summary – about ten years ago when T&T first came out, Awana sent me to Atlanta to introduce the program to the missionaries and ministry team members. After the presentation – the lead missionary invited me to sit in on a meeting (which had nothing to do with me), or, he said, “The South Florida Ministry Team is sightseeing in downtown Atlanta this afternoon and wanted to know if you’d like to go along.” Having never been sightseeing in downtown Atlanta and not being all that excited about meetings, I said sure. Let’s just say going to a city which a bunch of people who don’t live in big cities was truly an experience. I still refer to it as the “most fun I’ve ever had with people I didn’t know.”)
Anyhow, the conference had gone well. The workshop leaders went out to eat at Ruby Tuesdays, stood around afterwards and talked and then I drove back to my hotel. Most of the other people were heading home. My room was on the third floor and had a balcony, so I thought “Think I’ll take advantage of that balcony, sit out there in the Florida heat and humidity and read.” Good plan and something I’ve done in many other hotels. I opened the door, but then (fortitously) I put down my book and picked up my Blackberry, deciding I should call my mom. I closed the balcony door behind me and heard a frightening click – yep, I was locked out. (Now I know enough about motel balcony doors to know that they don’t usually lock behind you and indeed, when I tried to get it to lock when I closed it (from the inside) the next morning, I couldn’t do it – so this was truly a malfunctioning lock.) I was locked out on my balcony, on the third floor. The door would not budge! But like I said, I had my Blackberry and my Blackberry has internet, so I looked up the hotel, got the number and called the front desk.
“Someone will be right up.”
Twenty minutes later, I was still waiting. Finally I see a desk-clerk-looking person walk out to the parking lot with a maintenance-looking person. She is pointing to me and trying to explain to him to let me out, but he doesn’t speak English.
“We’re coming,” she calls up.
Twenty minutes later, I am still on the balcony. Suddenly, someone calls to me from the next balcony. “We can’t get in your room because the deadbolt is locked.”
Duh! Of course, you’re going to lock the deadbolt if you’re in there by yourself.
“I have to call the head maintenance man and get him to come over. Hang in there. We’ll get you.”
So, I waited … and waited … finally after about an hour, they got me in the room.
Here is the view I thought maybe I would be looking at for the rest of my life.
My plane wasn’t scheduled to leave until Sunday evening. (Unless I wanted to morph a three-hour flight into a ten hour flight with layovers), so I had a day to wander around the area – which I did, which I’ll write about later.