Sometimes God’s greatest blessings come in strange packaging. The need to cancel the Big Sandy April Family Conference, our largest event each year, came with a wave of disappointment. Little did we know the tremendous blessing that would come as a result of this change in plans.
Many of the families registered for the April conference are now planning to attend the Big Sandy July conference, taking place July 27–31. We also hosted an online Family Conference with speakers, singing, and a segment specifically for children. The online Family Conference turned out to be a tremendous blessing for many families who regularly attend the conferences. It also allowed us to reach many families that would have never attended otherwise. Families from across the country and around the world tuned in by the hundreds. Here are a few notes we received from our listeners:
A military family stationed in the UK said, “Our family has stayed up late and gathered around the table to join in and watch from this side of the world. We have been so blessed by all of the wonderful messages and beautiful hymns we’ve heard, thus far. Thank you again for all of y’all’s commitment and diligence in putting together a fantastic conference during this new season of life we are all in. We know the Lord is going to use it in a mighty way! And, we are excited that the Lord has opened a window in my work schedule for us to fly to Texas this summer to attend the July Family Conference.”
Another family wrote, “We just want to express our gratefulness for all you and the team have done to bring us the conference via live stream. In New Zealand, we have watched it live in the middle of our day, and then some of the replays at other times. There has been something to appeal to and encourage each member of the family, from youngest to oldest. In New Zealand, we can’t leave our homes except to buy food or to get fresh air and exercise, so while we have been under this constraint, having the conference beam into our lounge has been a blessing. We have also been watching the Basic Seminar and really appreciate all the great resources that Embassy Media provides. We can only imagine the pressure you and the team came under to quickly change plans from a regular conference to an online one and commend you all for your flexibility, creativity, and desire to serve so many by bringing us the conference online. Please pass on our thanks and appreciation to the team. God bless!” A family from New Zealand.
Many families enjoyed the children’s program segments tremendously. Several children wore their program uniform to participate in the activities and teaching sessions that were prepared for them. It was so special to see the families so excited. One family wrote that their daughter was “sobbing brokenheartedly at the start of tonight’s session because she realized there were only 2 more nights after tonight! You’ve done a fantastic job of taking the sting out of the fact that we can’t be there in person! There’s so much that we miss, but the virtual conference is very well done.” A family from Pennsylvania
We were also delighted to learn from one family that their daughter placed her faith and trust in Christ for salvation. Although it meant staying up later than they normally would, this family took the time to watch the live stream event. They later wrote rejoicing in their daughter’s recommitment to Christ after the Monday evening message. “She burst into tears and we were able to pray with her as she committed her life to the Lord. To me, this is worth staying up all night if need be! Never have I seen the Holy Spirit works so deeply in her life and I am looking forward to all the Lord has in store. So very grateful.”
We look forward to gathering in-person from July 27–31 for a week of rich fellowship and encouraging messages! On-campus housing registration is open for the Big Sandy July Family Conference. Dorms, cabins, and campsites are still available for the week. More details can be found at familyconferences.org/bigsandyjuly.