Every year since 2008, our family has excitedly looked forward to the upcoming Family Encouragement Weekend (FEW) conferences, hosted by the Wilkes, Neely and Staddon families! What a blessing these conferences have been to us, challenging and convicting us in our walks with the Lord, refreshing and blessing us through fellowship and God’s Word…
There are usually 2-3 conferences held each year in different locations, but due to the arrival of 2 new babies to Wilkes team 2 and Wilkes team 3, and busy schedules for the host families (the Wilkes team runs a family farm in VA and the Neelys have a music ministry), there was not going to be a conference this year. But the Lord worked it out that one could be scheduled rather last minute, close by in NC (just about 5 hours from us).
Throughout the weekend we enjoyed visiting with dear friends that we don’t get to see often, as well as meeting and making many new friends!
Darlene Neely shared a special session with the ladies on resting in the Lord, trusting Him for His perfect timing and ways, and trusting – even when times are difficult.
We were blessed by special music – whether the orchestra between sessions, the beautiful harp music played by Victoria N and Hannah W, or the songs put together by the host families.
On Saturday morning there was an hour set aside for the married couples to meet in a quiet place and pray as husbands and wives. The children were treated to a fun session filled with Scripture memory, singing, prayer, and an exciting skit – based on using the truths of God’s Word to combat the lies of the enemy.
We enjoyed the many precious little ones at the conference – whether holding babies, assisting with younger ones during meals, or encouraging children of all ages during the group activity times outside – discipleship soccer, relay races, and other fun games!
There were many powerful messages shared, encouraging us to draw nearer to God and to each other; to make time for personal devotions; to trust in the Lord and in His Word; to be a godly example to others in our actions…
And did we mention the fellowship? The meals, breaks between sessions, and activity times made for a wonderful weekend of encouragement in the Lord – of sharing stories and testimonies, laughing, and making memories!
We were truly encouraged! Refreshed, inspired, motivated, convicted, challenged, and simply blessed!
We are already looking forward to next year’s conferences!