New Zealand Family Conference
The New Zealand Family Conference was held January 7–11. After several years being unable to conduct in-person Family Conferences due the nation’s Covid-19 restrictions, families were thrilled to once again gather face-to-face and receive spiritual encouragement.
The conference theme was “Continue in My Word.” Gabriel and Sara Cleator traveled “down under” to participate in the conference. Gabriel shared multiple messages on topics such as God’s desire that we continue in His Word and the importance of forgiveness. Multiple local speakers gave messages as well, including one young man who grew up in the New Zealand ATI program. He and his wife and young family came to attend the conference.
The New Zealand families also enjoyed hearing live video call messages from Americans John Van Gelderen, John Huffman, and Caleb Reed. Although the men were speaking from the other side of the world, they did a great job engaging with the attendees.
New Zealand Journey to the Heart
A Journey to the Heart was conducted on New Zealand’s North Island at a cozy retreat center on January 11–18. Fourteen attendees and leaders participated in this event. Important topics were discussed, such as refuting Satan’s lies with God’s truth, embracing forgiveness, and cultivating intimacy with the Lord through time in His Word. God was working in hearts as the young people recognized lies they were believing and chose to reject those untruths. Also, multiple attendees forgave people who had offended them and released these hurts, becoming free from bitterness. How exciting to see these participants seeking God while in their youth and confronting hindrances to their spiritual growth.
On the “day of delighting in the Lord,” the young people set aside normal mealtimes for the purpose of seeking the Lord and delighting in Him. The day began with “mining” some “gems” from Psalm 119 as the Journey attendees read the first few sections of this Psalm and meditated on particular verses. Later, after watching a video message on prayer by David Gibbs, Jr., the attendees practiced what they had just heard and enjoyed a special hour of prayer. On the last full day of the Journey, the group marveled at the beauty of God’s creation as they rafted downriver in the Mangaweka Mudstone Gorge. There on the riverbank, concluding their rafting experience and the week together, they all sang the hymn “How Great Thou Art,” praising God for His creation and the work He did in their hearts!