Saturday, November 14, was a bittersweet day for our team. We were thrilled to see what God had done over the past three months and 16,000 miles, and yet sad that the trip was now concluding. It has been amazing to see the answers to prayers, impacted lives, and refreshed spirits of those we “connected” with. I am reminded of the psalmist’s words, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake” (Psalm 115:1).
This last update covers our journey up the east coast in the mid-Atlantic states, and then zig-zagging northward into New Hampshire and Canada, southward to Ohio and Indiana, then northward once more ending with meetings in Wisconsin and Minnesota. In North Carolina we saw a tractor pull – that is, a tractor pulling our stuck RV out of the mud. In Virginia we were grateful for open homes and no muddy roads! The evening meeting participants in Maryland filled the hosts’ living room and dining room. The Hershey, Pennsylvania event was even larger, including some families driving over five hours to attend. There was one family present for whom this was their third Family Connection that week! They were grateful for the meetings where they could meet other like-minded believers in their area.
The testimonies were inspiring. One family shared how ten years ago they were unbelievers living very immoral lives. Today their lives have been turned around by God’s grace and they have been in the ATI program for the past four years. A young couple in attendance was a second-generation ATI family while another young couple came to see if ATI might be an option for them. Other families came alongside to encourage the inquiring couple and exchanged contact information. We rejoiced to see families indeed “connecting”!
Heading towards our next event in New York, the team took a day to visit Manhattan. We stopped at the former site of the World Trade Center, took a free ferry over to Staten Island and back, and from the ferry viewed the Statue of Liberty. At the 9/11 Memorial another “connection” was made: a security officer accepted a Gospel tract from us. We struck up a conversation; he was open and ready to receive the free gift of salvation which he had never heard about before. He prayed right then and asked Jesus to be his personal Lord and Savior. The joy in his heart was evident on his face! This was the best “family connection” – seeing someone join the family of God!
The last days of our journey included New Hampshire where people brought their instruments and accompanied during times of singing. The repaired trailer hitch (damaged in New Mexico) broke again here, and a welder from a local church willingly came and installed a new hitch for us. From New Hampshire we drove on to Canada, and there met one of the families in attendance who helped translate the Basic Seminar into Cantonese! We also met the team who spearheaded the IBLP operations in Canada.
A family attending the Ohio event brought their completed ATI application to turn in! They shared how God specifically provided the funds they needed to enroll in the program. Next was Indianapolis where Verity staff hosted the Family Connections. At the Indy session, younger families were able to glean parenting wisdom from those older and more experienced.
The final leg of the trip was to Wisconsin and Minnesota. We had three evening meetings in Berlin and one in Curtiss, Wisconsin. The last Family Connection was at a local church in Minneapolis; this church had been Roger Magnuson’s pastorate for years, and now his son is pastor. Bob Newhouse was able to be present for this Connection, and Pastor Fraley flew in and gave a message on Psalm 127.
The Family Connections team is grateful for your prayer support and encouragement! Thank you to all who hosted, served, gave, prayed, and supported this three-month journey. “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).
David Waller, ATI Director