Leadership Training Institute of America

This past week had to be one of the most amazing weeks of my life.  It was certainly life changing! Nine of us SPGs headed to Washington D.C. with Bro. Geist to attend the Leadership Training Institute of America, run by Bro. Pat Briney.  This intense week was busy from the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we stepped back on. Just to give you an idea of what happened, I will give you a rundown of the schedule…..brace yourself!

Saturday:

We arrived at LTIA all bleary eyed after flying the entire night.  After registering and grabbing a quick bite to eat at Baja Fresh we were able to get some sleep before the evening lectures started.  Lectures began with Orientation and Leadership & War of Ideas.  Then we played a game, Never Have I Ever.   Very fun!  If you have never heard of it, ask and I will tell you about it.  It’s a fun icebreaker.
Sunday:
In the morning we attended Cornerstone Baptist Church.  Following the services we had lectures on World Views and how they affect societies.  To finish it off we had a night tour of the monuments.  After hours of walking and hundreds of pictures we concluded that our nation was definitely founded on Christian principles.  How is it, with such obvious scripture, that our nation’s leaders can turn a blind eye to Christianity and its principles?

Monday:

Started off with lectures including Evidence for God, Evidence for the Resurrection, and Evidence for Inspiration.  These lectures were all very important for answering the Four Fundamental Questions: 1)Is there more than a physical world? 2) Is there a God? 3)Which God is the real God? 4) How does God reveal Truth.  VERY important questions to be able to answer.  Before we headed off to the Holocaust Museum we heard a lecture on Martyrdom.  The Holocaust Museum was very eye opening.  Even though I had heard a lot about it, it was a very sobering experience to actually see the affects it had.  The evening concluded with a lecture by Chris Maligisi from LI about Social Networking and how we can put it to use.

Tuesday:
BUSY day! We started out the day with lectures on Secular Humanism, Islam, and Creation Vs. Evolution.  After a long, yet interesting, morning in the class room we were off to hear from Tim Goeglin, Vice President of Focus on the Family.  He was a great speaker and I really enjoyed everything he had to say.  Next we went to lobby our Senator.  I was a little unsure of what we would be doing, but come to find out it’s very simple!  We basically went to Senator Cantwell’s office after setting up an appt. and expressed our views on a new bill that will be passing soon about allowing abortion to take place in military hospitals which has been banned up until now.  Other than the bored expression on the Senator’s face (she’s a democrat), it was a wonderful experience!  I didn’t realize that it was so easy to do things like that.  Next stop, Macedonian Embassy! This was one of my favorite parts.  He was SO hospitable and even shook each of our hands ( all forty something of us).  After he gave his wonderful presentation, with a few flaws in working the power point, hehe, he presented us with a wonderful lunch of pizza and sandwiches on China plates!  ahhh….wonderful American food, with Macedonian style. 🙂  The last lecture of the evening was about blogging and how to use it to have an influence.

Wednesday:
Whew!! Are we only on Wednesday?? In the morning we went to the Capital Building to hear Jim Jordan speak to us, but we were ten minutes late (easily done with a group of forty something) so he wasn’t there.  However, we got some really good pictures on the Capital Steps!  A slight consolation.  Next we took a looong hot trek to the USS Barry.  Good stuff!  Next, Maureen Wiebe from the AACS (American Association of CHristian School) came to visit us.  She spoke about how the government has started to gain control on education.  Also, she had some really good info about getting involved.  Our last visitor of the day was Seton Motley from Less Government.  He spoke to us about how government is getting involved in the media and gaining control.  Talk about scary!  Lastly, we worked on our team projects.  The assignment was to choose two topics out of ten given from the Heritage Foundation.  Our team chose Family and Religion & Protecting America.  We had to research the topics and put together a presentation. 

Thursday:
Lectures in the morning included Answering the Bible Critics, Defending the Gospel, and Humanism in Education.  Next we visited CWA (Concerned Women for America) and heard Wendy Wright speak.  How inspirational!!  She has definitely defended her world view and suffered for it immensely.  Next stop: the Smithsonian!  The idea was for us to visit the new Human Origin Exhibit.  It’s amazing how little evidence they actually give for Evolution.  I and several other people got into a “discussion” with a Theistic Evolutionist and it was a very good experience.  It forced me to recall what I had learned.  We finished off with a wonderful night tour of the capital building with Congressman John Boozman (AR).  There was hardly anyone else there so we didn’t have to fight the crowd.  It was really neat to see “inside” government. 🙂

Friday:
The morning started off with Team presentations.  Everyone did SUCH a good job!  You could tell that there was a lot of thought put into the topics and overall it was a great experience.  We then had a time for testimonies from the students as well as the staff.  By this time, everyone was supposed to be done with all the graduation requirements.  That left the afternoon open for DC Touring. Yahoo!!!  We were able to choose from several places where we wanted to go.  I chose to go back to the Smithsonian for further exploring.  It could take DAYS to see everything, so I barely scratched the surface in the entire trip.  In the evening we had our graduation ceremony.  It was so good!  And everyone was so relieved to be done with everything.  We headed out that night to go find some ice cream (ended up with frozen yogurt and it was delicious!!).  We spent some time around the fountain talking, laughing, and singing our favorite songs from musicals. haha what a “lovely night”.

Saturday:
We got to sleep in!!!  I can only last so long with five hours of sleep each night.  Saturday we packed and departed.  The flight went very smoothly and we were all walking zombies by the time we reached Oak Harbor.  Sunday wasn’t any better.  I was (no joke) falling asleep playing the piano at the nursing home on Sunday.  That’s a first for me!  I now realize that I can play with my eyes closed. 🙂 

LTIA was an experience I will never forget.  What I have told you here barely scratches the surface.  I feel so inspired to go out and make a difference.  I anticipate getting involved in several areas and I am open to the Lord’s guidance.  I would recommend for every person to have the experience I had last week. 

Jefferson Memorial (W/Washington Memorial in background)           

Tim Geoglin speaking to us at Focus on the Family
     
My project team: Joyka, Nancy, Cody, Myself, Kali, Michael, Joel, John and Pablo
LTIA Class of 2010 with Macedonian Ambassador Jolevski
Kali and I sang “America the Beautiful” for the Graduation Ceremony
Bible Baptist Church SPGs singing “The Life Of His Son In Me”
Maggie and I
Josh and I in front of the Capital
Getting ready to lobby with Senator Cantwell
These are just a few of the 2,941 pictures taken by our group!

4 Comments on “Leadership Training Institute of America”

  1. I think that the trip to the Barry and Embassy visit were switched around, because I was wearing my yellow suit on my pictures of the Barry and at the embassy I’m wearing a blue blouse. I only mention it because those are my days to talk about for our presentation on Sunday. I’m just checking myself I’ll have to read my journal again so I can get it right.

  2. Yeah I think you are right. oh well….too much work to switch all around. LOL I already had to totally rewrite my post. I spent about a half hour writing it all out then it didn’t save! *sigh* the frustrations of blogging!

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