The 15th Annual Australia Family Conference was held recently in January 2016. Families attended with great anticipation, and they did not leave disappointed! One couple shared about the encouragement they received at the conference. The wife shared, “Mr. Wakefield's prayer tips are very practical and helpful! The testimonies and encouragement of all the moms I met are still with me. I am so blessed to have met these moms at the conference.” Her husband shared, “My burden was released! Our purpose as homeschoolers is to know God….”
Children ages 5-12 attended Pathfinders; their program theme was “The Great Race.” Lessons on running the race that God has set before us with patience and faithfulness were illustrated through stories, skits, songs, Bible verses, small groups and craft, and culminated in a real race! Each child who finished the race received a medal. Younger children who were ages 2-4, learned about putting on the Armor of God in their program called Sunbeams.
One family commented on how much they enjoyed the race theme in the children’s program and other aspects of the conference. “Our highlights were the ‘great race.’ It was inspiring to see children encouraging each other, holding hands to the finish line, and a dad running alongside his children! There were words and cheers of encouragement to all. The focus on abiding in Christ as an anchor is a picture that continues to remind us to keep from drifting away from Jesus. Last but not least was the great food and fellowship with other wonderful families and friends.”
Immediately following the Australian Annual Family Conference, on January 28 – 29, there was a special two-day Student Conference. Approximately fifty young people attended the student event which was designed especially to bless those who had been serving during the Annual Family Conference.
The students heard messages about genuinely loving others without self-centered expectations, honoring parents, meditating on God’s Word, having an eternal perspective, and fascinating insights from the book of Genesis on how God is at work in history. Healthy competition was seen in outdoor games and activities, Bible trivia quizzes, and team points. A Q&A panel was inundated with questions from the young people, and answers were given by those with experience and wisdom.
An ATI father who was involved in coordinating the Student Conference shared: “At the end [of the Student Conference], we had an open time of testimony where young people could come up in front of the group and share something they were thankful for or how the Lord has been working in their lives. The leaders and I had been praying about this time, but I have to admit, I was afraid nobody would share. Nothing could have been further from the truth! We actually had to extend the testimony time. It wasn’t just the number of people who testified, but the depth of truth presented in their testimonies and the light of Christ that was evident as they spoke about what had been happening in their lives. The Lord Jesus Christ has been working in their lives and is calling them to do great things for His Kingdom!”