We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the annual ATI conference in Big Sandy again this year! Our 9th time. This is one of the biggest highlights of our year. It’s kind of a booster for us, and it’s a very encouraging, challenging, refreshing week… getting to hear amazing speakers, singing in choir, playing in orchestra, the Chinese restaurant (tradition), ALERT cadets, teaching in Children’s institute, and catching up with friends.
Abbie’s highlight of the week…
One of the biggest things that challenged me from Big Sandy this year was from the student sessions on the very last day.
What am I willing to die for? I always thought this meant at the end of my life, but am realizing this applies to everyday dying to self. Am I willing to die to self (everyday) for my relationship with Jesus, or do I settle for less, give into my flesh, and make compromises that hinder my relationship with Him? This totally hit home with me.
Abbie and Brooke played a special music “All that Thrills my soul is Jesus”
Maggie taught Children’s Institute again year. Our next of kin :) Dillon Dornink, made the long trek down and taught Children’s institute also. He ate meals with us, and we had lots fun fellowshipping and eating junk food after sessions every night. :D
Maggie’s highlight of the week…
Pick a highlight from a week of working with 11 amazing kids??!! How difficult can you make it guys?!
I had a BLAST this year! God taught me a lot about letting Christ work through me, and relying on Him and His strength alone, cause let me tell ya, If I’m counting on my strength to get me through 3 days…(with 7 boys and 4 girls, under the age of 7) full of constant thinking, running, noise, instructing, teaching, laughing, chaos, holding
kids, comforting, playing, studying, etc. , it’s just not gonna happen!
I didn’t know it was possible to fry my brain in just 3 days! =)
But God’s energy never runs out, and He will be faithful to give us all the strength we need to further His kingdom! God is so good, and I was very blessed with this opportunity to build a relationship with these sweet and precious kiddos!
I can’t wait for next year, Lord-willing! And hopefully I’ll get my energy level and mind back to normal before then!
I enjoyed repelling a lot! I also climbed the 40 foot rock wall, it was really exhausting but a ton of fun.
Benjamin was in ALERT cadets again, for his 6th year.
Charity and I sang in the Student choir, and Abbie played in the orchestra.
One of the many highlights for me from Big Sandy was the Benham brother’s session on being faithful in the little things. God has you where you are for a specific reason. Find where your greatest talent meets your greatest passion and give God glory the whole way! You focus on depth and God will focus on the breadth (tree analogy). And it was super fun to have Brooke along too!
We were thrilled to have our dear friend Brooke stay with us during Big Sandy. She was such a blessing and an encouragement.
She also did a wonderful job helping fill the empty spot of Hannah. : )
A couple of my highlights from the week would be…
David Gibb’s session on what our one job is as an ambassador for Christ, that is to make the Son of God look good… I usually hear it in the term glorify God in everything you do, I’m always like, what glorifies Him? How do I do that in everything I do?… This is a different way to look at it, and it has really helped me define it down to one thing, always making Jesus look good.
…If I say or do such and such, is it going to make Him look good?…
Ephesians 5:30 "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."
We are a part of Christ, when others see us they are seeing a part of Christ.
What kind of representation are they seeing? Do they see Jesus for who He is?
This is our one job as an ambassador…don’t lose focus of it.
I also enjoyed taking friends’ kids to the playground and helping babysit…loved it!:)
Mom and Dad worked the Character First! booth and attended sessions. Only seven of us made it down this year….. Dustin and Hannah are still away on their honeymoon: ) and our bro’s had to work.
Another fun highlight was meeting some of our blog readers in person! =)
Hopefully pictures from the wedding will be up next! Until then…
Keep pressing on toward the mark of our Lord Jesus Christ!