Last weekend Hyacinth and I, along with our father and oldest brother, travelled up to Auckland for a conference. We spent all day Saturday travelling, taking 8 hours to get from our home to our relatives home in Auckland (including breaks along the way for food, rest room, and op-shopping/thrift stores!!) It was a nice trip, the perfect day for travelling.
When we were leaving our home city, there was an incredible rainbow – a full arc clearly showing all of the colours – we had fun trying to take clear photos of it from the backseat of our car, although our panorama photos didn’t quite work out! :)
|Failed attempt at a panorama :)|
|Lily, Dad, and Hyacinth :)|
Once the mountain was out of sight, we were approaching Lake Taupo, which is often another beautiful sight on a sunny, clear day, and this day was no different! Clear, blue water shimmering in the afternoon sunshine, looking refreshingly cool and inviting (deceptively inviting – in winter!)
And as we drove around Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu could be seen behind the beautiful lake, white and majestic in the background. Yellows, oranges, and reds of all kinds coloured the trees throughout the country, some fiery reds and the brightest yellows you could imagine. It’s only just winter here, and many trees are still stubbornly holding onto their leaves after a long, hot summer. Oh, how we love the beauty of God’s creation! :)
Upon our arrival into Auckland City, we spent the remainder of Saturday and Sunday spending time with our relatives in Auckland – Aunts, Uncles, grandparents, cousins, and their children – it was a really nice time catching up with our family. The only downside was that our mother couldn’t have come up with us (as this was her immediate family that we were visiting with). She was unable to get the time off her work as a caregiver, so sadly had to stay behind.
Monday was the day of the conference, “Building a God-Centered Family”. Registration was at 8:30am, so we left our Aunt and Uncle’s home bright and early to get there on time. There were a few familiar faces at the conference, which was nice, as we had no idea who might be going or if we would know many people there. Most of the people there (of which there were approx. 150) were home-schooling families from the upper North Island. We weren’t the only family who had travelled far for it, though! One family drove up from Wellington (the capital) – a good 9-10 hour trip!
|On the way home again :)|
The speakers were Pastor Scott Brown, Pastor Kevin Swanson, and Mr. Anthony Courter. They alternated throughout the day, speaking on topics such as home-schooling, family economics, raising godly sons and daughters, and more. It was very edifying, and Hyacinth and I tried to take notes so that we could remember it all afterwards! They were all very good speakers, and we especially enjoyed Kevin Swansons’ talks – he’s an amazing speaker to listen to! We also got to meet the speakers, and their daughters as well. It was neat to meet their girls, and we felt like we had made instant friends :)
|Us and one of the speakers' daughters :)|
One of my (Lily’s) favourite points from the talks was in the talk on homeschooling, and how important it is to teach your children the Proverbs. The book of Proverbs teaches you everything that you need to know in life – economics, values, character, wisdom, etc. It’s all there. So amazing to be shown again that God has given us everything we need to learn in the Scriptures (not that we don’t need to learn other things as well, but as God Himself says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man (this includes women, girls, and boys too) of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Another point I really liked was in Pastor Scott Brown’s talk on Raising Daughters. He made the statement, “Visionary daughters are secret weapons in the church of Christ.” He encouraged fathers to teach their daughters how to be godly women, and encouraged daughters to be daughters of Zion, not of the world. We should be reading good books that will help us form biblical worldviews that we will one day pass on to our children. The books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we watch – we were created to pattern what we see and hear, and we will do this with movies and tv and music, so we need to be careful what we let our eyes see and our ears hear.
These talks that we heard were really, really upbuilding, encouraging, and insightful. Everything we heard spoken on was Biblical, and shown to us from Scripture. If it’s in God’s Word, we can’t ignore it :)
The conference finished at around 8:30pm (about 12 hours after it started), and we really enjoyed it! It was a lot to take in, and I wish it could’ve been spread out over a few days, but we really enjoyed what we got :)
We stayed the night in a motel nearby, and left the next morning to return home. The trip back was wet and grey the entire way! And on the Desert Road again you could almost think that there were no mountains behind the thick cloud/mist that was all around.
|See the mountain in the background?|
Although we were happy to be back in our own homes again, it was a really enjoyable, up-building weekend, and we highly recommend that if you ever get the chance to hear any of these speakers that we heard, take it! :) There’s always more to learn, and more people to meet.