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Sunday, July 10, 2011

ISCE Countdown

is down to 21 days!

I’ve been thinking a lot about this conference lately (obviously), and I’ve realized that I’ve been getting really excited about China. Being in China, traveling to China, and experiencing China. I guess you could say at times I’ve lost sight of the reason why we’re going to China. While the offsite activities, games, parties and the excitement are indeed a huge part of the conference, I’ve been able to fully reflect about how much I truly love Operation Smile and how life-changing it has been.

4 years ago this August, I attended my very first ISLC. I remember feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by all these incredible people who had accomplished so much in life at such a young age. Claire Crawford (now on the College Council) was on my team and I remember she wore this gorgeous dress and had this amazing flaming red hair and everyone knew who she was (duh, she started her own charity for crying out loud!). She won a fancy award at the conference and was the most humble, beautiful person I’d ever met- inside and out. Being a 15 year old child straight out of junior high, I was intimidated. Never in my life did I think I would someday go on a medical mission, serve on the ELC, win one of those fancy awards myself and most of all, be receiving letters in the mail, having heart to hearts on the couch and becoming great friends with the one and only Claire Crawford.

ISLC '10 Denver

That is just a super simple version of a really beautiful story of friendship and tender mercies, among many, many, others. I hope that you can get excited about the inspiring speakers you will listen to, the lifelong friendships you will create, and the intense love you will feel for a cause and people all over the world that you don’t even know.

I think all can agree that the beauty of Operation Smile is that you don’t have to be on the operating table under the scalpel to have your life changed forever. It is mission that heals smiles on faces and hearts in people, and that’s when you know you’ve got something special.

See you so soon!!


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