“Putting the Happily Back in to Ever After” was the theme of our (now) annual one-day marriage seminar, hosted by Home Improvement Ministries to serve the greater Boston area.
And many of the over 200 people left the day feeling at least a little closer to that desire.
Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn, internationally known for their research data and their publications on the differences between men and women, were well received by the conference attendees. Jeff and Shaunti spoke at three different sessions, giving important and possibly situation-changing information on how to bridge the gap between the genders. Paul and I had invited them to speak after spending a day with Shaunti at the Iron Sharpens Iron Women’s Conference held in Connecticut last fall. Over dinner, Shaunti, Paul, and I talked endlessly together about the passion we share for encouraging marriages. We were so impressed with Shaunti's genuine, down-to-earth self, that we extended the invitation. Since she and Jeff met in Boston, coupled with having never spoken in Boston, they were willing to negotiate with us to make it possible.
Though we had really hoped to pack out Calvary Christian Church (our new favorite place for doing conferences because of their great facility and their even greater staff), just over 200 people made it to the conference. We pushed beyond the disappointment of being undersubscribed and watched God work in amazing ways throughout the day.
Most who attended were local, but we did have a couple in from Johannesburg, South Africa. Tando and Zama Msoki had been impacted by Shaunti’s books and were able to put together a trip which included running the New York marathon the weekend before. They were a delight!
Besides hearing the Feldhahns speak during three sessions, we offered multiple workshops during two sessions. Great feedback was received on the evaluations regarding the variety and quality of the workshops. We are so thankful for the quality team of workshop leaders we had: Ryan and Kelly Plosker, Danny and Rayna Oertli, Tim and Sharon Ponzani, Seth and Melanie Bilazarian, Doug and Julie Macrae, and Eric and Joylynn Mello. All were appreciated!
Worship was lead by Danny and Rayna Oertli, which is always a good thing. That evening, they did a concert at Calvary Christian Church. Fans, young and old, were blessed by their unusual talent and the sincerity of their hearts for the Lord.
Jim Martis of MJM Catering provided lunch, which was delicious and served efficiently.
All in all, the day was a great success and encouragement. One first timer, who also is a seeker, wrote, “We loved it. We felt very loved and we felt God’s presence. We’ll be back!”
In addition to all day Saturday, we had a “stand-alone” evening on Friday for those who couldn’t attend Saturday. Held at the Peabody Marriott, about 75 came out for the evening and the Feldhahns gave us a sampling of Saturday’s seminar.
Tando and Zama Msoki from Johannesburg, South Africa, stand with Jeff and Shauti Felshahn at day’s end.
|The workshop leaders introduce their topics.|
Julie Friesen, Derek Johnson, Jeff and Shaunti, and Paul and I send the Feldhahns off.
|The operations team worked tirelessly all day to make sure everyone was well taken care of.|
|Danny sings a number of new songs off his next CD, which he plans to record this spring.|
The weeks ahead will be full of counseling, Patriot studies, and speaking. In between, we’ll enjoy the preparation for Christmas and look forward to being with our children and grandson at different points along the way.
Happy Thanksgiving for now. It’s good to be reminded that thankful hearts stave off entitlement and discontent. Thanksgiving is really a year-round holiday! We’re thankful for so much...including you.