Last month people gathered for the Familylife Vision and Equipping conference in Gerrards Cross, near London.
The theme of the weekend was GO! Equipping you for local mission.
We kicked off on Friday night showcasing one of our events ‘What is Love Actually?‘ One hundred and thirty people came to hear Mark and Christine Daniel share anecdotes and practical tips from the bible around the topics of ‘how we define love’ and ‘how can we better love our partners?’ They shared the relationship tool The Five Love Languages® and the evening was interspersed with clips from the film; Love Actually. The wine flowed and so did the laughter as the Daniels gave us their best funny stories, but there were also quieter, poignant moments as they talked honestly about their challenges over the years and the difference that following Jesus has made to their marriage.
The Saturday was spent thinking on practical ways we can engage with our community, updating everyone on progress Familylife has made this year and hearing from our mission partners; Care for the Family; Explore; MOPs and Agape worklife. John and Kate Arkell led a fantastic session that inspired us to consider how to build deeper relationships. We also heard from our network of volunteers from round the country and how they are serving and reaching their communities
We were lucky enough to have some of our European colleagues with us. Teams from seven different countries joined us to share what has been happening in their countries, particularly through the translation of the Together resource (now available in six languages!) It was a joy to hear their stories of changed lives.
The day was filled with discussion and prayer for our communities and countries. We ended our time by releasing one hundred balloons as a symbol of releasing our prayers to God knowing that it is He, not us that touches hearts and changes lives. Watching the balloons lift off was a fitting end to an inspirational weekend.
Jo Arkell & Christine Daniel