I promised a few months ago, that I still had a couple special Mount Hermon memories coming.
One person who made my week what it was, holds a very dear place in my heart, is in the majority of my conference memories, is Eli.
She plopped down at our table the first night of the main conference. Her beautiful skin and bright eyes captivated me, while her bold tattoos proclaimed Jesus in a way so unashamed that I was intimidated. The legitimate roar of the too-loud crowd gave me the excuse I needed not to engage the young woman clear across the table in any direct communication.
Toward the end of the meal I caught enough of her story to be intrigued by this photo she shared of herself less than 4 years earlier:
To hear bits and pieces of her pre-Jesus life of drugs and addiction and try to reconcile these stories with the gracious woman speaking was hard for my brain to process:
All weekend long, Eli was put right back into my life at nearly every turn.
One of the funniest moments, that became a beautiful God appointment, was when I was down in the author hospitality center (lounge) talking to the tape ministry ladies when I heard a lady's voice behind me asking, "Where are the people to pray?"
Thinking she was looking for the prayer partner team that had been available the day before, without even knowing who was there, I jumped at the chance to volunteer, "I'll pray with you!"
Spinning around, I was thrilled to find Eli standing there! As we exchanged huge hugs, she replied, "I would love to pray with you, as soon as I find where to pay for my copies!"
We both laughed, but as soon as she had conducted her brief business, we had a lovely 20 minutes of prayer together!
One of my favorite Eli quotes of the weekend, "You can take the girl out of the gang. You can't all the way take the gangster out of the girl!" Maybe that looses something without the surrounding context, but that's enough of a quote for me to remember the surrounding story.