After the perils and stress of 2020, hundreds of families were eager to gather in person for the 2021 April Big Sandy Family Conference! God put together a wonderful group of staff, speakers, and attendees for a week of rich fellowship, dynamic messages, and spiritual encouragement. Close to one quarter of the conference participants were attending for the first time!
The 2021 Conference Theme is “Rejoice and Give Thanks,” based on Psalm 97:12: “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” As believers face challenges, difficulties, and uncertainties in these unprecedented times, there can be a temptation to shift one’s focus from the Lord to the circumstances around them. Each speaker encouraged listeners to return their focus to the Lord and His Word, looking to Christ for strength in the battle. Families enjoyed hearing Eric Ludy’s challenge to turn spiritual difficulties into opportunities for growth and adventure. Scott Pauley encouraged listeners to sing through the battle. Johnny Pope reminded individuals about what made David a man after God’s heart.
Families attending this year’s conference repeatedly mentioned how encouraged they were to participate! They returned home refreshed, strengthened, and ready to continue in their walks with the Lord. Not all of the attendees were at the conference in person. Each session was live-streamed for families around the world to enjoy. One family stated, “We are so blessed to enjoy the conference from home! Every day each message is better and better! Every part has been such a blessing and encouragement and we are so grateful! This evening was so moving, praise God! We pray for you and what God does through you and hope to be able to get to another event soon.”
Many children at the Family Conference participated in the children’s programs. Each one heard truth from Scripture applied to their lives, and four children trusted Christ for salvation! One family wrote, “We thoroughly enjoyed the conference. . . . This is the kind of conference where your kids make lifelong friends and families make new lifelong friends. . . . I have never felt so loved by people in all my life and we enjoyed Christ-centered loving messages based on the Bible. Not only is my faith encouraged and I made new commitments to my Lord and to my family but my kids are encouraged and have a renewed commitment to Scripture.”
Four more conferences are scheduled for this year: Northwoods Summer (June 14–18; early registration discount deadline May 14); Modesto, CA (June 29–July 2; early registration discount deadline May 29); Big Sandy Summer (August 2–6; early registration discount deadline July 2); and Northwoods Fall (September 20–24; early registration discount deadline August 20). Families are also looking forward to next year’s April conference, scheduled for April 25–29, 2022! Conference registration is open at familyconferences.org and lodging, if available, can be reserved by visiting events.alertacademy.com or by calling 903-636-2000.