We arrived in Denver to rain and snow flurries and a top of 5 degrees after a long but comfortable flight. The following day we spent acclimatising and recovering from jetlag, something I did not suffer on the return trip.
The following day had us in Colorado Springs visiting the International office of Focus on the Family. I had heard their radio programs over many years but a private guided tour through their enormous facility was an amazing experience and much more than I had expected. Focus on the Family is the largest tourist attraction in Colorado welcoming over a million of visitors a year.
The following morning Donna and I flew to Kansas City for their Field Training and MOPS Convention, which attracted approximately 3200 attendees, with around 30 representatives from 15 countries outside the US. It was a great privilege for all of the overseas delegates to be acknowledged on stage on the first night of Convention.
Mom Con speakers included Beth Moore, Lysa Terkhurst, Kathie Lipp, Jen Hatmaker, Sherry Surratt, Alexandra Kykendall, Elisa Morgan and Robert Gelinas, all amazing speakers bringing messages from their hearts and experiences that were relevant to mums and the theme.
We were also blessed with regular periods of worship. This was a moving experience with so many mums able to enter in without the normal distraction of managing children in a church service. The rest of the Convention was run closely to our program with positional and Leaders/Lifestyle electives.
Donna and I ran an elective for the International leaders and their mentors. We discussed running MOPS on a smaller scale. Many countries are just starting out and are seeking to affiliate with MOPS International as a separate entity as we do in Australia. At present we are the only affiliate country, so our experience and guidance through the initial steps is of value to others. We shared our field structure, training program, chartering materials and legal requirements. Our work is not complete and we know that there will be ongoing discussions and support as a number of countries move closer to their goal.
On our return to Denver we were taken up to the Rockies by Shelly Radic. After the extensive fires followed by floods over the past 12 months, the road to the mountains were closed, but we did get to drive through the foothills and visit the City of Boulder. The day with Shelly was really the highlight, the beautiful scenery was just a bonus. Colorado in Fall is truly the place to be.
The rest of our week was spent in the MOPS office, talking with, asking of, and learning from different members of the staff. We have so much still to learn from what they do, and much more will become relevant and necessary as we continue to grow MOPS Australia. Sherry Surratt is very excited about coming to Australia for the Australasian Conference 2014. Sherry is an outstanding speaker and leader and also the author of the 2015 theme book, so this is a Conference you will not want to miss.