How is it possible to feel so exhausted and yet so refreshed? I fell into bed asking myself this question after our family served and attended the first-ever CFC Kids Family Conference at Thousand Pines Christian Camp and Conference Center in Crestline, California, July 22-24. I thought about it: in about 48 hours, around 65 families had unpacked, sweated, shared, laughed, played, prayed, chanted, clapped, celebrated, honored, worshiped, rejoiced, listened, learned, praised, danced, dreamed, given thanks, packed and slept maybe 40 winks. After all that, why did I feel like hopping out of bed, grabbing my husband and kids, and doing that silly disco dance routine they taught us in the opening salvo? My answer came in a flash of inspiration, making me smile—with God, all things are possible—even disco dancing, which for me is a miracle. From the planning of this wonderful retreat all the way through to the final spirit-rousing chant on the last day, I saw how God shows forth his glory when we all come together, each bringing our own gifts, to praise and worship him.
We got involved with helping the service team for CFC Kids Family Conference after we had agreed to coordinate CFC Kids ministry in our unit. In the month before the event, there were several gatherings to prepare and practice: the ROCK team came and trained the youth who would be serving, the planning team set up computers and printers and worked on registration and finalizing details, speakers gave inspiring talks, everybody brought food enough to feed an army. More than anything, I was impressed with everyone’s tireless energy and zeal—especially the youth service team, and the adults who drove great distances to get them to the gatherings.
When the first day of the conference finally arrived, the service team set to work in triple digit heat—members from each area doing their assigned part. It all went together so well. As I worked on my own assigned task, pushing my cart of supplies for Mass and items for the prayer table in the little chapel, I saw families working together, setting up the photo and prayer board, assembling the “I Love My Family” sign, setting up registration. Youths did the heavy lifting and carrying, setting up the stage area with astonishing speed. Throughout the entire weekend, I truly felt the Holy Spirit at work, blessing and multiplying our individual offerings and making one great big, beautiful love offering to God.
As participants also, we experienced four wonderfully inspiring sessions, each directed at the children with simple language and engaging activities, not to mention a rotation of faith-enriching games and crafts and an afternoon of archery, swimming, zip-lining and rock wall climbing. While the kids were enjoying their outdoor activities, parents heard three talks aimed at parenting concerns. I loved the opportunity to spend time getting to know new friends from other areas and watching our kids play and pray together. If more families had the opportunity to get away for a few days, gather together with other families, rejoice together, pray together and give thanks together, think of the impact it could make in this upside down world. If anything, I came away with a desire to spread the word to all the families in my household, unit and chapter: CFC Kids Family Conference is a worthwhile investment in time and money. Instead of thinking about all the reasons why you can’t go next year, hear the words of the final chant on the last day: Together with Jesus, together we can!
See you all next year in Northern California!
A sharing by:
David and Terri Denton
CFC Kids Couple Coordinators
South Riverside, CA