My first technology conference while working for GEM eDOT took place around a month ago and while its slightly old news I wanted to share with you all about my experience there. The conference took place in Mosbach, Germany at OM Deutschland’s HQ. There were a total of 80 people there representing 12 countries, four continents and 32 organizations.
At any given pass through the gathering/coffee area you would most likely hear at least 3 different languages and not all of them even being spoken by native speakers of that language. It was quite common to hear a German or Dutch to be speaking English or a native English speaker speaking German (sometimes even me) or Dutch (definitely not me). Such is my life right now and to be quite honest at times it is hard, but other times it is incredibly amazing. To think that God, who made languages originally to separate us so that we could not accomplish whatever we put our minds, now is using those same minds to allow us to be united again in multiple languages. It is truly a blessing that God has given us the gift of learning languages so that we can unite in Him to reach other for Him!
The conference overall was a very good, albeit draining, experience. On day one we introduced ourselves and I made it known that I was there with an ulterior motive, to speak German with Germans. That same day we were put into prayer groups, organized by my supervisor Dana. The idea was to provide us a small group where we could pray specifically for each other and become closer as well. Dana had randomly created every group, that is except for my group. My group consisted of three Germans and me. Talk about being thrown into the fire. During every prayer group they only spoke German and I quickly realized that I did not know German spiritual vocabulary in the slightest. I mean, it’s not like we learned that in my public school in Toledo or my public language school here in Germany. If you think about it, when we pray or ask for prayer we use a much different vocabulary than normally. I also realized my tech speak isn’t very well-developed so sometimes I wasn’t sure if they were speaking German or Tech-ese. My goal was to grab at least one point of prayer from each guy and then pray for that. They all prayed in German and I in English because I wanted the prayer to flow naturally.
Beyond the prayer groups we attended sessions on various topics and one of my favorite was on leadership using Nehemiah as a reference. I like Nehemiah’s story a lot and some very good points were brought up in regards to proper leadership that will bring about results. One point that stuck out to me was that Nehemiah had each person work on the wall opposite their house. Genius! He knew they would work so much harder if they had a personal stake in the matter. A true leader finds a job for their people that they are invested in and where they see importance. That’s just quality!
At night we typically gathered in the coffee area and a few of us played some board games (not a big surprise). Those simple games, though, allowed us to unwind but also develop more of a community. It was one of my favorite parts.
Going to this conference I learned a few things:
There are some ridiculously passionate tech geeks out there and its a great thing that they are there.
I am not a tech geek.
God has called all of us to Europe separately and yet together for His purpose.