Directing a Convention From a Mountain Top View
Holding the title of Convention Director is hard, y’all. It’s almost as hard as raising children–almost. From where I sit, I have the rare privilege of orchestrating the huge and fluid puzzle that makes up the THSC Conventions. Yes, I said conventions. Plural. THSC now hosts two home school conventions each year. One on Mother’s Day Weekend in Arlington and one mid-summer in The Woodlands. As the orchestrator, I have many AMAZING team members who complete the hundreds of tasks it takes to organize a three-day event attended by thousands of home school families, exhibitors, speakers, and volunteers. Let me just tell you, I have an incredible view of these events from my director’s chair.
THSC is a Ministry
Often times when planning for convention, I get lost in numbers, sales, attendance, memberships, and perfection, and I forget the real reason I work for THSC and plan conventions: ministry. I sit in this seat not because I am a home school mom or because I am a good event planner or because I get along well with others. I sit in this seat and I work for THSC because I was called to this ministry. I was called to minister during this season of my life. When I remind myself of this truth, I breathe and trust in the One who calls each of us by name. I can forget the business side of convention and fully accept, embrace, and enjoy the ministry side of convention.
Stay with me, y’all, this is where this year’s Arlington Convention story gets good! This is where I share with you the “in the trenches” view that someone from the outside may completely overlook. This is where I share with you why everyone who attends a THSC Convention has an opportunity to be a light in a dark world. Keep reading.
Every person associated with the convention, from the day laborers to the janitorial crews to the hotel staff watch the behavior of the organizers and attendees. It’s as if the whole world is observing as we prepare and participate in the THSC Conventions, and it is through this we have an extraordinary opportunity for creating disciples of Jesus Christ.
How do I know the world is watching? I know because I had a front row seat at the Arlington Convention. I witnessed, first hand, how the THSC Convention – Arlington showed the world the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I witnessed it through a 20-something homeless mother of two boys–nine-year-old Johntavious and nine-month-old Javion. Her name is Merci. Merci. Isn’t that the most beautiful name? Merci was watching us. All of us. She was longing and hoping for something she saw at the Arlington Convention. So much so that she forgot she was actually there on contract for the convention center to work for our three-day conference. She was so lost in all the good that she became distracted by what she saw.
I first noticed her sitting on the outside of the Amazing Chemistry Show. Her cleaning cart sat idly in the ladies bathroom as she was mesmerized by the message of Christ she witnessed on stage through the chemistry show.
I invited her in and we sat on the back row together. She said she never knew chemistry could spread the gospel message. She told me how she missed her boys and would love to home school them and show them the love she saw at our convention. She kept saying her oldest son loves science and he’s good at it. She kept saying she couldn’t believe this many people were in one room and they were all talking about Jesus. In the 15 minutes or so that she and I sat there, I felt the Holy Spirit stronger than I ever felt Him before. He was there in that room. I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit stopped time that night because I learned more about Merci in those short minutes than I could have learned from an hour-long conversation with a close friend.
You see, Merci had only been in Texas for a week and a half. She made the hard choice to leave everything she knew to make a better life for herself and her boys. She left her boys with an aging mother who desperately wants her home and cannot understand how she could leave. She loves her mother and adores her boys but she had to get away from bad decisions and people who were keeping her from doing her best. She needed hope. After speaking with her, I could relate this love story to what Moses’ mom must have felt when she left him in a wicker basket and pushed him off in the river.
Merci lived in her car for several weeks before she found Arlington Life Shelter, a homeless shelter that is a place to help people like Merci get back on their feet. She can call it home for three months as long as she can find employment. That’s what led her to contracting for the convention center and that’s what led her to the Amazing Chemistry Show that night.
After the show, I found Merci cleaning the bathroom and talking to another mom who attended the chemistry show. They were talking about the beautiful message of salvation shared during the show. Seizing the opportunity, the four of us went back into the now empty ballroom and invited Joshua Denhart (children’s pastor, chemistry teacher, founder of the Amazing Chemistry Show) to pray with us and specifically for Merci.
Jesus Showed up at the Amazing Chemistry Show
Did I mention the Holy Spirit was in the house? That precious homeless momma was hungry for answers. She asked if God could forgive someone who had done unspeakable things. She had heard that you weren’t really a Christian unless you could speak in tongues. She was hungry for truth. In that moment, in that brief period, at a THSC Convention, Christ showed up and showed off. Big time.
Joshua had dinner with the events team that night and said he, too, felt the Holy Spirit in that room stronger than ever. Jesus was in the house!
Merci and I exchanged phone numbers that night. Here’s what she had to say the next day via a text message:
Thank you so much. You really don’t know how much you mean to me. I love you so much and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me in that short amount of time. You are so great and an amazing person. I wish nothing but good things for you and your family. I will be back next year and I hope I see you again. Be safe and be careful. Thank you for everything and I love you, yes I LOVE YOU💖💝 Next time you see me I will be in a different place in life spiritually and financially.
“Next time you see me, I will be in a different place in life spiritually and financially.” Isn’t that awesome? I believe it. This young girl’s life was changed at a THSC Convention. My job has purpose. None of the other stuff matters. Attendance doesn’t matter. Exhibitor sales don’t matter. What matters is that convention was a vessel that brought a young mother to Christ. That’s what matters.
I’ve been in touch with Merci every day since then. She just got a job with Walmart and started a second job with Amazon on May 26. I bought her a Bible because she told me she didn’t own one. I told her tonight that I couldn’t wait to see God show off through her testimony. She will be a success story and I can’t wait to witness to how it unfolds.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
THSC Mission Statement
Thank you, THSC, for allowing me to play a small role in a huge ministry. I’m pretty sure the Arlington Convention reflected the THSC Mission Statement that strives to:
- Encourage and perpetuate the fire that ignited the original modern home school movement by continuing to defend, protect, and promote home schooling and the requisite parental rights in Texas.
- Encourage home schoolers to persevere through difficult times by passing along a vision for the benefits of home education.
- Educate and support home school leadership at all levels in the state.
- Aggressively promote and market home schooling and parental rights in Texas to the general public.
- Assist widows, people who are disabled or needy, and the minority home school community.
Don’t Miss The Woodlands Convention
Did you miss the Arlington THSC Convention?! Don’t worry, we have two. Register and plan now to see God move in The Woodlands. Remember, if you’re a THSC member, two adults attend for free.
Not a THSC Member?
What are you waiting for? Join THSC today. We are not only Keeping Texas Families Free, but we’re changing lives and we would love for you to be a part of it!