Family Connections Conference

Family Connections, Mesa

After a successful first run in 2014, the Family Connections team headed on the road again for a 12-week tour across the country. Our family was blessed to be able to host them again this year.

Saturday morning, everyone pitched in to set up chairs and tables, to get the media and music operating, to organize book tables, to warm up food in crockpots for lunch, and to offer praise to God for the work He was doing. Just as the team finished breakfast the guests started arriving.

The Lord brought 53 people for the all-day event. The day was filled with challenging and promising messages to encourage families to stay strong in our Lord Jesus Christ. There was joyful singing, heartfelt prayer, rich fellowship, and lots of food.

Morning Session

There was even a time for the children to have a devotional led by Samuel, Gabriel and Matthew, and then participate in some fun activities outside while the parents had a separate break-out session with David and Priscilla inside. After the event was over, many people gathered in the living room to sing hymns and continue a time of fellowship and spiritual refreshment.

Singing

When the guests left, we gathered in the family room and thanked the Lord for making this event possible. We each went around the room and prayed for whatever the Lord laid on our hearts, which included much praise, thanks, intercession, and supplication. We ended the day with a game of Apples to Apples Bible Edition and much laughter. What a wonderful day!

Sunday morning we were blessed to have Gabriel passionately teach us a lesson from Scripture, and then John and Tia announced that they are going to have another baby. We were all so excited, and a few of us cried tears of joy with Tia. After we returned from church, we had a time of rest, more music, fruitful conversations, and a big volleyball game that lasted until dark!

Hynes Family +1

After a devotional on Monday morning, Priscilla, Tia, Lauren and I made the base mix for mint chocolate chip ice cream and put it in the refrigerator to cool for the day. Then we all packed up and headed out for a place called Tortilla Flat. We stopped along the way to hike and take a few pictures.

Lauren, Priscilla, Davia, Katey, and Kerry

At the bottom of a big cliff, John, David, and Gabriel found a rattlesnake. They didn’t waste any time converting it into a good snake (a dead one…). John even came back with the rattle. It was quite an adventure and young Paul and Samuel didn’t quite know what to make of it all. We spent the latter half of the afternoon at Tortilla Flat where we had lunch. Then all of us hiked up the side of a mountain, while Kory stayed behind to fly the drone and film our adventures. Samuel and Matthew helped those struggling to make it the top—namely the young children. They went out of their way to keep everyone safe and encouraged. Once at the top, we sang “How Great Thou Art” and marveled at God’s creation. It was amazing!

Tortilla Flat

Upon arriving back home after a full day of adventure, most of the group went outside to play volleyball while Kory, John, and I stayed back at the house to make homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream and prepare for a pizza dinner. The Ciampi Family, along with our neighbors, the Reeds, came over as well. The ice cream was a huge hit and all of the children played on the trampoline and the swing in the backyard while the rest of us fellowshipped and had fruitful conversations.

Making Ice Cream

The evening culminated with a magnificent hymn sing, with everyone participating on the piano, viola, violin, harp, harmonica, guitar, and singing. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Hymn Sing

On the last full day of the Family Connections’ team stay, the ladies went out for a time of thrift-store shopping, a leisurely lunch, and pottery painting. The men took the young children and two quads and went to the mountains for a day of riding.

Quad Riding

We reconvened at the house that evening and enjoyed one last meal together at Señor Taco, after which everyone prepared for the departure the following morning. Wednesday was a sad day as we said our “goodbyes”. May God be with you, Family Connections team, until we meet again!

Here is a little video montage of our time together…

4 Comments

  1. avatar
    Carinna Burnett
    Sep 28, 2015

    Wow! Looks like ya’ll had lots of fun!

  2. avatar
    Kory Nakatsu
    Sep 28, 2015

    Indeed we did… It was a time of refreshing exhortation, sweet fellowship, laughter, too much food, prayer, and joyful music! Our home has been WAY too quiet since they left 🙂

  3. avatar
    Steve and Steph
    Sep 30, 2015

    So happy for all of you, what a great time you must’ve had.

  4. avatar
    Kory Nakatsu
    Sep 30, 2015

    It’s great to hear from you! Hopefully you all will be able to make it to the event in Canton or Indianapolis, I can’t remember which was closer to you. Say hello to the whole family for us and we look forward to seeing you soon.

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