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The 2005 ATI Regional Training Conferences brought challenging messages and memorable presentations to four locations across the United States. A total of more than 10,000 attendees gathered at the conferences, which were held May 3–6 in Big Sandy, Texas; May 31–June 3 in Nashville, Tennessee; July 5–8 in Sacramento, California; and August 9–12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
A life-changing event for many, each conference featured an array of outstanding speakers, practical training, rich fellowship, and new direction for preparing sons and daughters to make an impact on the world.
This year’s conferences centered on the theme of “Total Surrender for Total Success.” The keynote message explained why commitments for following God’s ways might not last unless they are based on a total, unconditional surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. Messages given throughout the week further amplified this vital, Biblical concept. When we surrender our entire beings to God, we can experience the true success of fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives. (See Romans 12:1–2.)
God promises that those who meditate on His Word and apply it to their lives will experience success. Practical insights on how to memorize and meditate on God’s Word were shared at each conference. Rebekah Swicegood quoted a large portion of the Book of Matthew with dramatic interpretation and shared how Scripture memorization and meditation have helped her overcome depression and temptation.
Throughout the conferences, parents gained vital information about communicating with each other and with their children, especially their teenaged children. Older couples shared from their experiences of training children who have remained faithful to God, and dedicated young adults told of the concepts that helped train them for success in life.
Chris and Anne Hogan explained how to have a “Courageous Conversation,” which gets to the root of conflicts by discussing key questions and has helped many restore harmony in their relationships.
Roger Magnuson spoke about the secrets of success, and Karl Coke told of the rich heritage of Jewish education from a Biblical context. George Keller, Ann Conway, and Ralph Meloon shared testimonies of God working in the trials and tests of their lives. Throughout all of their failures and triumphs, God has remained completely faithful.
Phil and Diane Bowman led helpful sessions for first-year ATI families. Their practical instruction and personal illustrations provided insight and motivation for maintaining family relationships and implementing Wisdom Booklet studies.
Children and students participated in programs that communicated the themes of the conference at their levels of understanding. Through the Children’s Institute’s songs, skits, and stories, children learned about the importance of God’s Word and the qualities of obedience and truthfulness. The ALERT Cadet program gave boys opportunities for outdoor activities and training in personal disciplines. Girls participated in the Pre-EXCEL or COMMIT programs and learned more about becoming virtuous women and developing healthy relationships with the Lord, their family, and others.
The afternoon sessions with the youth were highlights of the conferences. These sessions addressed issues that every young person faces, including how to be successful in the five primary goals in life: to become a wise person, a skilled provider, a powerful proclaimer of truth, a loving marriage partner, and a discerning parent.
Special presentations were made at several of the conferences. In Big Sandy, Texas, Governor Rick Perry addressed the group and commended the ATI families. He stated, “Home schools work! They work because of parental involvement … . Pursue that abundant life—a life of total success that comes with total surrender!”
At the Indianapolis conference, a group of Mexican orphans who were at the International Home for Children over the summer gave a presentation in song and testimony. They shared about God’s transforming power in their lives as they trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation.
We have received a tremendous response from those who attended the conferences. Parents and students shared their appreciation for the messages presented and told how their lives had been impacted by the truths they heard.
At the conclusion of the conferences, there was an atmosphere of great joy and excitement for what God had done during the week. This joy became even greater as the student choir and orchestra concluded the time together by singing what has become the ATI theme song, It Will Be Worth It All. When we see Christ, it certainly will be worth it all!
Learn more about the ATI Regional Training Conferences at ati.iblp.org/conferences.
“This conference was an incredible encouragement for our family. We needed the opportunity to refocus in several areas. The theme of totally surrendering one’s whole life to the Lord has been very significant to us, and it was very good to be challenged and reminded of this teaching.”
—An ATI mother from Virginia
“The concepts that were presented from Scripture on total surrender gave vision for what God can do through those who are completely yielded to Him. The testimonies of great men and women of God who have been standing for what is right, and taking the heat for it, gave new zeal and understanding for trusting in God.”
—An ATI student from Minnesota
“This conference has been the best ATI conference I’ve ever attended! Message after message swept the cobwebs from the corners of my heart and challenged me to surrender every last area to the Lord. I’ve made many commitments before, but the conference theme of ‘total surrender’ gave them a deeper meaning and a clearer purpose.”
—An ATI student from California
“The men’s sessions in the morning with Dr. Gothard were wonderful—especially the one on father/son bonding. These sessions provided practical tools to build a solid relationship with our dad, to manage resources wisely, to be effective ‘sowers of the Word,’ and to be successful in the five basic roles of a man.”
—An ATI student from Minnesota
“When have we last been in the presence of so many ordinary people who are doing the most extraordinary things for the Lord, and in His strength? God’s power and might were felt throughout the week, and through every speaker who shared, His truths were presented to us.”
—An ATI family from Nebraska
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