The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Monday #1 – 7/9/07 –trip for ICRS Conference

I woke up Monday morning full of enthusiasm and yet worried about the weight of all I had to get over to the convention center. I packed up my folding cart, put 2 boxes on top of it with books and then my computer bag with wheels on tops of that (for "stuff" — not the computer.)

I grabbed a cup of iced coffee downstairs and Tylenol too and then caught a cab. The cab driver asked what I was doing at the conference and I said I’d written a few books.  He explained how he had brought his family here from Jamaica and seemed genuinely interested in my books because his mom had diabetes. As he unloaded the trunk and tried to figure out how I’d built my perfect tower of books I pulled out a book for him and signed it right there. I’d never done that before (Who wants my signature? But since I was signing them later, it seemed rude to not sign it for him.)  He looked down at it and then gave me a big hug and said, "God bless you." What a great way to start the morning!

First, I needed fuel- ie. food. There was a big area people could drop off boxes or luggage so I asked if I could store my cart and 2 boxes there while I went to get food and figure out exactly where I was going. The man reluctantly said, "Yes, but it’s $2 a box…even just for an hour."

"That’s fine." I said. Saving my strength and my wrist (which was supposed to be having surgery this week) was worth $4 without thinking about it.

I grabbed some eggs and a cheap piece of ham and found a place to sit behind a tree on a bench inside. I met one of the authors of Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America’s Largest Churches (J-B Leadership Network Series)  by Scott Thumma and Dave Travis. As the floor was about to open I went back upstairs to get my boxes of books and information about the ministry.

I picked up the boxes and headed for the elevators. Only they were stuck. I could see the man inside because the door was open just a crack. He said, "Get some help!" so I grabbed a security person who started talking on her walkie talkie to get help. He had a large "suitcase" that looked more like an exhibit box.  I checked my watch. I had about 45 minutes to get down to the floor before my signing. Thankfully I’d prepared ahead of time.

The doors finally opened on their own and all of us waiting allowed him to go to where he was needed and then cautiously got on. We’d been told there "were no other elevators." Although I doubt that, they obviously were not anywhere close by.

Two more elevator rides down (none went to all the floors) I finally arrived at the exhibit hall and it was HUGE. It took about 30 minutes to walk over to the CLASS (Christian Leaders Authors and Speakers) book. Ironically, the book looked a bit plain. I tried not to be disappointed, but this is the organization that teaches Christian authors and speakers how to have great displays. It looked like it was a black drape in the background and just my chair and table.

No biggie–because it’s not about me, right? Then, guess what I saw? The display case!

I asked someone at the CLASS booth, "Was the person who just delivered that possibly stuck in the elevator?"

"Yes!" she said. "It just got here! It was in Georgia somewhere last night, then on the freeway this morning, and then he got stuck in the elevator. And we can’t set it up now that the floor has opened. We’ll have to wait until tonight." She seemed at ease, though slightly disappointed. If it’d been my booth I would have been crushed, so I appreciated her calmness in the midst of my temporary little chaotic world.

She helped me get my stuff out and I wiggled into the chair and people began to line up! I had a line! But the most exciting thing was people kept saying, "WOW! This is SOOOO needed… Can I get all 3 books?…I’m going to read this and give it to my church… My bookstore really needs these kind of books…" It was so exciting to see people light up knowing that they’d found "the perfect gift" for either themselves, a friend, or their customers.

(To be continued…)

Lisa Copen

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