We’ve never had a speaker receive a standing ovation at our Night of Hope event until Tony
— Ally Lang- COO- Hope is Alive Ministries

First class. Honestly, that's all I need to enter for this blog. I had a feeling coming into this event that it was going to be on another level. When I spoke with Lance on the phone and he described the event and what they were doing in OKC, I knew I was in for a treat and I was. Faith based markets have been tough for me to break into. I think a couple things factor into this issue. My age being at the top of the list and the second biggest factoring being churches are not good arenas to "test" speakers that aren't "proven" in that market. I mean at the end of the day, no arena is good to "test" a speaker in, a bombed speech is a bombed speech in my opinion but when it comes to churches they are extra protective of the message that leaves the pulpit, rightfully so. The backbone of my sobriety is Jesus Christ, however and the amount of work I put into practicing my faith is a great amount that I am always eager to share, I just don't get that opportunity. Well, Hope is Alive gave me that shot and i'm so grateful for it because everything went so amazing. 

From start to finish this event was seamless. I was invited to sit at a fundraising dinner before the actual event started and it highlighted several Hope is Alive residents. Hope is Alive is helping addicts in need by giving them the tools to restore their lives that have been dismantled by substance abuse addiction. The vibe you get from everyone at H.I.A is unique, it's family and that kind of vibe can only be passed down by leaders who are genuinely invested in the work they've created. 

The speaking portion of the event went amazing. I felt like I hit all my cues I needed to share and the crowd was extremely attentive. Any time you get a standing ovation from the crowd, you know that the message was received on good ground. Pastor Scott Williams of OKC spoke after me and I have to say, it was a blessing to watch this man share. He was extremely gifted! He could be funny one second, deep the next moment and serious another. You could tell that he was working in his calling during his time sharing with the audience. When I finished my speech I told the crowd what I was witnessing in OKC was something special, it was. I travel across the country week in and week out and what I felt and witnessed with the recovery community there was not normal and I mean that in the best way possible.