Time has flown by since the Family Connections team first “hit the road.” In their reports they state that God’s grace has been so evident, His direction so specific, and His blessing so abundant. Since the first Family Connections meeting in Chicago, the team has held over twenty Family Connection meetings in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, and other states in-between.
A theme of some of the messages has been on trusting Jesus in the midst of the storms of life. One of the messages on the topic of trust includes an illustration of a “trust fall,” showing the importance of trusting Christ during the difficult times of life. ATI Director David Waller relates that concept with his deep desire to help families weather the storms of life by clinging to Jesus as mentioned in Acts 11:23: “that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”
The team also has had numerous opportunities to witness as they travel. At one of the fuel stops along the way, a woman who worked for a fast-food restaurant stopped by to take a look at the big RV that the team is using for their travels and asked what they were doing. They shared about the purpose of the trip and ended up singing for her. She was so encouraged that she gave them a stack of gift cards for the restaurant she represented, remarking how she was so blessed to see young people serving the Lord.
In Oklahoma City, families from a two-hour radius attended the all-day Saturday Family Connection. It made the drive through the night from Houston worth the effort just to be able to encourage the group who gathered. One young man on the Family Connections team has been organizing fun games for the children to expend some energy while also learning lessons from God’s Word. This has provided a great time for the parents to talk about some of the pressures they are going through as well as share testimonies on how God is at work in their lives.
In the Dallas area the traveling group was blessed to be hosted by a small church. The pastor of the church had served the Lord in Papua New Guinea for thirty years before taking the pastorate. After meeting and visiting with him for a short time, he realized that the Family Connections team was connected to the same IBLP that had blessed his life early in his ministry. The team later learned that he had actually translated some of the IBLP materials into the local language for the nationals while serving as a missionary many years ago. It was reassuring to see how the Lord had prepared the perfect place for the Family Connection to be hosted.
While the team was in Dallas, one of the video speakers, Gary Fraley, arrived in person to meet and speak with those attending. His message really enhanced what was shared in the meeting up to that point. Not only did the Family Connections have the all-day event on Saturday, but the pastor of the small church also invited the team to speak on Sunday morning as well as provide special music.
The team has now completed 8,000 miles and is halfway through the trip. Nearly 1,000 people have attended these local small groups meetings throughout the country. God has provided for each need in many miraculous ways as well as directing each Family Connection to meet specific needs in the lives of those who come. The Lord’s hand has been evident, and the team is excited to see what He has ahead! Thank you for your prayers! If you would like to attend any of the remaining Family Connection events, please check the schedule by visiting www.familyconferences.org. The team would love to see you there!