Yo Adrian... we did it!

Okay, I admit we’re getting pretty close to taking the Philadelphia/Rocky/FamilyLife theme too far (I guess it's better than a Philadelphia/Cheese-steak/FamilyLife theme), but it really does feel like we've gone ten rounds and we're still standing.

This was our last conference of a long year, and we kind of felt like we limped across the finish line, but we did make it. We had the opportunity to see God work in amazing ways over the last conference. A few of the highlights from this past weekend in Philadelphia:

The people LOVED the Homebuilders materials, we ran out of some of them, and so many people were asking Ross for tips on how they could use the studies to begin reaching out to their unsaved neighbors and to come alongside their churches to start a marriage ministry. That kind of residual ministry gets us very excited;

Also, Ross got to visit with a sweet couple who are missionaries to Russia, and hopes to begin working with them on some ways to take the conference and Homebuilders materials and apply it to the families they are ministering to in Russia. We’ve always wanted to do a mission's trip to Russia, but maybe in a way we are already having an impact there;

11 people prayed to receive Jesus as their Saviour, and another 115 said that they were recommitting their lives and families to God. This is the reason we do what we do, everything else is just a bonus;

We had so, so, so many couples here who are on their second or third marriage and struggling with blended families. It was so exciting to see them finally feeling like they had tools to make this marriage work and a real desire to point their children to Christ. One of our speakers this weekend, Jose Alverez, shared about his experience growing up in a blended family after watching the police raid his home and seeing his dad get sent to prison for many years, and it just resonated with so many of the guys. This was our first time being at a conference where more guys were struggling to hold back the tears instead of their wives;

One of the hotel rooms we stayed at had an amazing view of the airport with airplanes coming and going all day- this was a dream come true for Isaiah, he LOVED it! ;

Lastly, a sweet couple from the local volunteer team surprised us by taking us to the Michael W. Smith “Christmastime” concert in a city nearby. They got us phenomenal seats (11 rows from the stage) and they even took us out for dinner afterwards. It was an amazing concert, and it really helped to get us into the Christmas spirit. Our favorite parts were hearing MWS playing the most beautiful piano medleys with a full orchestra, and hearing Melinda Doolittle (from American Idol) belt out the Christmas carols with MWS and the Katinas singing background vocals. What a treat!

As tired as we are, it is so exciting to get to be used in this way and as you can see, there have been some really special treats along the way. We're looking forward to a few days off around Christmas, and some time to regroup, refocus, and ask God for direction for ministry in 2008.

If there was such a thing as a theme word for our life it would be “surrender”. It’s time for us to pause, take inventory, and then hold it everything with open hands before God, once again surrendering our hopes and dreams to Him, and committing to go wherever He leads us. We’re excited about what God has in store…

Top Comments from the Conference:
“I realized my marriage is worth saving. We know we have changes to make personally and as a couple. With God’s help we will do it and not only survive, but be an example!”
Homemaker, married 3 years

“This conference turned our marriage around! After 24 years of marriage, I feel like we finally have the tools we need to make it work! (I only wish we could come do it all over again next weekend)”
Homemaker, married 24 years

“This conference has saved our marriage! Thank you so much.”
Air Force, married 24 years (married to homemaker above)

“Tremendously Positive- nothing short of Miraculous!”
Air Traffic Controller, married 4 years

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are so proud of you that you did "run the race set before you"...Mom, Dad, Cher, Erik and the girls were all cheering for you. Did you hear us?!!??
Now, we are looking forward to seeing you, our precious ones during this awesome season. We are rejoicing in all the good things that the Father has done for Isaiah loves to sing "God is so Good...He's so good to me!" and HE IS!
We love you to the moon and stars.

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