The first of the Family Connections meetings was held Saturday, June 25, in Big Sandy, Texas. The day started with a classic message by Ron Dunn. Although first recorded in 1994, it is just as applicable for today. In his message entitled “How to Discover God Through Your Struggles,” Pastor Dunn explained how God’s greatest blessings are often overlooked because they come through our greatest struggles and challenges. Next, Family Connections team member Gabriel Cleator spoke on the importance and power of prayer. Other messages, both live and recorded, were presented throughout the day, interspersed with hymn-singing, special music, and small-group discussion times.
Turning the Hearts of Fathers to Their Children
One father who attended with his family had just completed 27 years in the transportation industry driving over-the-road trucks. He was grateful for the refreshing time with other like-minded fathers. During the discussion time in the afternoon, each of the men had the opportunity to share and pray together. The truck-driving father joined other men in sharing about investing in relationships at home and balancing work and home responsibilities.
In addition to a wonderful day packed with powerful messages, melodious music, and great fellowship, programs were also available for the children. Children’s Institute was in its usual format with activities, crafts, stories, and songs. The children heard stirring stories about people in Scripture and history who prayed and saw God do amazing things.
Young men ages 8-17 had the opportunity to enjoy the ALERT Cadet Encounter, which was led by several ALERT men. Their day focused on the character quality of flexibility, particularly in learning how to adapt and respond quickly to change. They listened as ALERT Cadet Chief of Staff, Rick Warner, shared his message entitled “Modern-day Exploits of Faith,” which detailed story after story of God’s faithfulness to those who were serving on various mission fields. To conclude, the young men quoted Scripture verses they had memorized during the day, as well as singing for everyone the theme hymn, “Rise Up, O Men of God.”
“Rise Up, O man of God, Have done with lesser things;
Give heart and soul and mind and strength To serve the King of Kings.” — William P. Merrill (1867-1954)