After packing 7,500 pounds of equipment and luggage, a truck and trailer began the 1,846-mile trip from Big Sandy, Texas, to the West Coast for the annual Sacramento Family Conference, July 4–7. Traveling through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the hot Mojave Desert of southern California, the truck pulling the loaded trailer finally arrived in Sacramento after three days on the road.
Conference set-up began the next morning (Monday, July 3). Tables, chairs, and audio video equipment were set up in a timely manner. Books and family resources were unpacked and placed in orderly fashion for folks to browse and purchase. However, the long trip from Texas and the meticulous preparation at the conference location would all be for naught except for each of the families who made sacrifices to attend the annual eagerly-anticipated event. Many folks drove long distances, took time off from work, planned extensively, and packed up their families for this unique opportunity to be encouraged spiritually, to grow in their walk with the Lord, and to enjoy fellowship with other like-minded believers.
The conference commenced Tuesday evening with IBLP President Tim Levendusky sharing a message which highlighted the conference theme; this message was followed by guest speaker Jerry Benjamin who shared profound truths throughout the week about the preeminence of Christ. Attendees appreciated the teaching shared by conference speakers Jobe Martin, his wife, and their two adult daughters. Gil Bates also gave practical messages as did S. M. Davis. The messages from God’s Word throughout the week were refreshing and inspiring.
The children’s programs were packed with activities, lessons, stories, crafts, games, and Bible truths. Younger children attended the Children’s Institute where they learned songs and memorized a passage of Scripture. The pre-teen girls who participated in Pre-Embassy enjoyed spending time with other like-minded young ladies. In their sessions, enthusiastic team leaders shared their lives with these girls as well as songs, Bible lessons, memory work, and crafts.
The ALERT Cadet Challenge encountered its own challenge when one of the leadership team awakened with a dental emergency. Thankfully, another ALERT man who was attending the conference as a participant was able to step in and help lead the eager young men for the day. With many outside activities, the ALERT Cadet Challenge leaders rejoiced that there were no serious medical issues among the boys and young men related to sunny California’s hot weather. The leadership is always grateful to see how God provides for every challenge or difficulty that may arise!
For older young ladies, their COMMIT leaders had a wonderful surprise for them! Taryn and Mirren Martin, daughters of Jobe Martin, shared special messages with the group. Other women also spoke to the COMMIT ladies, giving testimonies and teaching truths from God’s Word. The young ladies were reminded about how it is so easy to embrace the lies from Satan and the world that are given to young people, and how important that they remember the refreshing experience to hear God’s truth and walk in it.
Student Sessions were another highlight for young people. The young people enjoyed hearing live speakers Gabriel Cleator, David and Priscilla Waller, and Jobe Martin. The sessions culminated with a panel discussion. The intense interest of the young people was evidenced by their active participation during the question-and answer time with the panel of older young people.
With the Sacramento conference completed, only one Family Conference remains for 2017! The final conference will be held in Green Lake, WI, September 5–9. The Green Lake Conference Center is in a beautiful, tranquil location beside Wisconsin’s deepest lake. We look forward to hearing from both Keith and Jenny Daniel as they share things which God has laid on their heart for this conference. Many other messages from God’s Word will be presented, as well as CI, Pre-Embassy, ALERT Cadet Challenge, COMMIT, and Student Sessions for the younger participants. This particular Family Conference is also a great way for home educators to begin another school year! If you have already attended a Family Conference this year and choose to come join us at Green Lake, there is the added benefit of your base fee rate being waived. To register for the conference, please visit familyconferences.org. We hope to see you there!