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Heart Full of Gratitude

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When I heard about the upcoming World Service Convention, which will take place August 20–22, 2020, in Orlando, Florida USA, it took me back to the exhilarating experiences I had at the 2016 Convention in Boston. Over 1,000 OA members from all over the world gathered in one place! I received many gifts from that weekend.

My emotions were on alert because my roommate practiced a different food plan approach than I do. But, sharing a room with her enriched my program of recovery, and I have since shared those lessons with my sponsees. We also found we had friends in common, thanks to the beautiful worldwide networking that is possible in OA.

There were nine workshop tracks that ran throughout the weekend on every topic imaginable. Of course, I couldn’t attend them all, but I took notes at each workshop that I did attend and left with sufficient gems to put together a mini workshop for my home group’s area. My heart was so full that I wanted to share that weekend’s experience, strength, and hope with anyone who would listen.

I also purchased several of the CDs, one of which discussed how to incorporate the Traditions into our personal lives. It actually helped change my life, and a fellow home group member and I were inspired to hold a Traditions workshop based on this CD for Unity Day 2017.

Using the virtual tools and technology available to us, I’ve had a sponsor for thirteen years who lives in another country. She also came to Convention, and we shared a deep Step Five experience—a gift I cannot describe to you.

At Friday night’s opening ceremony, we saw a slide presentation that showed the flags of all eighty-two countries, plus OA virtual services, for every place OA holds registered meetings. The speaker that evening shared her experiences of starting many OA meetings in South Korea. Both the Friday ceremony and the Saturday banquet festivities were so uplifting and emotional. My heart just wanted to shout with gratitude and happiness, and I could hardly sit still.

Service took on a new and deeper meaning for me that weekend. All the speakers humbled me to such a level that I’ve expanded my willingness to volunteer for service, even when those opportunities seem overwhelming.

We in America take ordering from the OA bookstore for granted: I learned that weekend that many OA members from around the world purchase bulk literature at these events to take back to their countries. Plus, the new Twelve Step Workshop and Study Guide had just gone on sale, and we purchased every copy the WSO staff had brought—such a gift to all of us!

I hope I’ll never miss another OA International Convention . . . and I hope I’ll see you this August in Orlando!

— Anonymous

Save the date! World Service Convention is August 20–22, 2020, in Orlando, Florida USA. Registration opens in January 2020.

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