Okay . . . we’ve been back from our holiday and eMi conference for a while already . . . and yes, the kids are back in school . . . but I’m just now getting around to catching up in the blogosphere, so bear with me for a few days as I share about bits and pieces that I meant to write about but haven’t gotten around to yet . . .
So for today – the eMi Staff Conference – the destination of our many hours of driving. Almost all the Engineering Ministries International Staff and their families gathered in Estes Park, Colorado for a time of fun, fellowship – and yes, some business stuff too. It was amazing to see everyone in one room together – families from the US, Canada and Great Britain – but also from India, Uganda, Costa Rica and the Middle East North Africa region. About 150 of us – all working with eMi. The eMi family is diverse . . . the youngest member there had been born the previous week, one couple had just gotten married, there were singles, families, grandparents, you name it. All were part of “designing a world of hope” with eMi.
While Kevin had met more of the extended eMi family through trips and golf marathons 🙂 , for me this was the first time since our staff orientation and then an eMi conference that we attended shortly after joining staff – which at the time was a little bit overwhelming. I’ve gotten to know a lot of names through my various roles at eMi since then – but what a difference to be able to sit down and just chat!
I was also thrilled to see our kids connecting with other eMi kids. Kaisa reconnected with a friend she made at that first staff conference 4 or 5 years ago (her family was on their way to the Costa Rica office then) and also hung out with a couple of girls from the Uganda office. Talia and her friend – new to the Colorado office – were almost inseparable all week. Email addresses have been exchanged, and we’re hoping that these friendships will last between conferences – and that the kids will have someone else with whom to share some of the unique aspects of being an eMi kid.
Talia and Kaisa also enjoyed sitting in on the evening sessions, where the different offices presented about what was happening in their part of the world – joys and challenges. I’m glad that they feel a part of the eMi family – this isn’t just a job Daddy goes off to do – this really is part of who they are too.
There was a lot of fun too – silly get to know you games, a photo scavenger hunt . . . (and hey, our team – with Kevin as our fearless leader – earned a first place finish and a very close second 😉 )
Much of the conference was centred around getting to know each other – but there were several “break out” sessions to promote sharing between the offices. Kevin attended several – including topics as diverse as IT and financial management – and I was asked to facilitate one on marketing and got to attend one on publications. It’s neat to discover others who are just as excited about sharing what God is doing through eMi . . . hopefully the eMi facebook page, among other things, will reflect this increased collaboration between the offices.
The week went by much too quickly. We’re already looking forward to a “family reunion” in another 5 years . . .