by Emily Drayne
I have so many thoughts when I think about ICOM! My first conference was in 1998, and one of the only things I can honestly remember is pulling up to a hotel in the middle of the night. I didn’t really understand what we were doing there or what I was about to experience. In my 9 year old mind, it was just another [long] road trip with my family!
A few years later, my dad told us that he would no longer be working at our home church and he was going to work for the NMC. I was SO upset!! I loved being a preacher’s kid in our small town; I remember crying and crying that night and the Sunday when he announced it to our church. Over the next few years, we were faithful NMC/ICOM attenders. My sister and I got to hang with the Missionary Kid group, met some amazing servants of God, and even got to help out at registration with our parents!
Fast forward to 2010, my senior year at Kentucky Christian University. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do after graduation – with no success. I had seen powerful things happen during the ICOM weekend in the past, so I thought “Why couldn’t that be me?”. I had a prayer time on my way to the conference and just lifted up to Him: “God, do something crazy with my life this weekend.” God has a funny way of answering prayers because one round in the Exhibit Hall and 7 months later, I was on my way to China for the summer with C.R.A.M.! It was the best summer of my life! I got to experience God in so many ways, learned more about myself than I even thought possible, and formed a love for the people in China!
When the summer ended, I came back with still no direction on where my life was headed. My dad came to me and said he needed some work done at his office. So for a month, I cleaned out old boxes, purged through office files and things that could be thrown away, and emptied and cleaned out the garage. I got to know the staff and fell in love with the work of ICOM. That was my in.
Well, now it’s 6 years later and I’m still here! My role has changed many times, but my love and passion for the people of this world has not. I’ve been able to travel to see some missionaries overseas, developed friendships with people all over the world and have heard more stories of God and His miracles than I could count! One of the best moments of the last few years has been introducing ICOM to my husband! His first year to attend was 2016 (pictured here). I’ve also been able to develop my skills on a professional level and find out more about myself in an everyday kind of way. The staff is an amazing group of supportive, energetic and passionate people! I’m so so so blessed to be part of the ICOM team.