(If you missed yesterday’s post, you might want to read about what PTP is here, first.)
Although it would be impossible to boil down the past week into the parts that were my favorites, I do want to share a couple of highlights here. These are the things that I know will stay with me long after other parts of the event fade from memory.
For example, I’ll always remember that, while our toddler was sleeping on me during one of the workshops, a sweet lady I’d never met leaned over and said, “May I please hold your baby for you so you can take notes?” Remington slept contentedly on her new friend for the remainder of the class….and I took lots of notes!
Afterward, she thanked me for sharing Remi with her. How sweet is that?
Another very special memory: Sunday morning, many chose to leave the convention center to worship at area congregations. Our family stayed on site to worship with a crowd of 1237 filling the combined ballrooms. I will never, ever forget the moment the singing began. I opened my mouth to join in, but when those thousand-plus voices began praising God, a capella, I had to just sit and listen for a moment. Suddenly I was more anxious to go to heaven, more anxious to sit around the throne of God, praising Him for eternity. I choked back tears. Then I peeked sideways at my husband, who was clearly experiencing the same emotional reaction. We finally got ourselves together and sang with the enthusiastic crowd. I will always remember this.
I loved sitting at the feet of amazing speakers all week, like the missionary from Africa who was baptized the year my father was born! I loved mingling with a mass of people who were on fire for God, excited about spreading His Good News and happy to be there to encourage each other.
This was one of my favorite recurring scenes during the week:
Each time we left the convention center we’d hang all our lanyards on the mirror of our vehicle so they’d be ready for the next time we went in. And every time I looked at all of them hanging there together, it made me happy. It was so nice to be doing this as a family!
One huge highlight was the Future Preachers Training Class that Connor participated in. Forty boys, ages 10-14, were taught the basics of how to prepare a sermon in a series of three, 3-hour classes. They were given a topic on Monday and had to prepare a short lesson to share with the rest of the class on Wednesday. This was a real stretch for Connor, who had to step WAY out of his comfort zone, and he came up with a great sermon on his assigned topic, “The Bible.” I was so proud of him!
Then, on Thursday morning, some of the boys gave their sermons in a class for the adults, and afterward they had a graduation ceremony. It was VERY emotional (again!) sitting through that class, listening to that group of young boys earnestly sharing God’s Word and thinking about all the potential they embodied. I found myself wondering how many souls would be brought to Christ because of the tender hearts of those young boys, who had been blessed and wanted to share their knowledge with a lost world. It was incredibly moving, and I guess if I had to pick one favorite part of the week, this would have to be it.
So once again, I am feeling thankful. I’m grateful to all the preachers who were willing to help mentor these young boys, and thankful for the boys and their desire to share Christ. I am thankful for all the speakers who were willing to share their wisdom and experience, and especially God’s Word, with the rest of us who were there. I’m thankful for all those who sang with full hearts Sunday morning and for the effect that had on our whole family. And I’m grateful to our elders, who allowed us to go be a part of all this.
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