Alumni Reunion Reflections from Ron
What an amazing and refreshing time we had with hundreds of our alumni that returned this past week for what was the last reunion that will be held on the East Texas campus. Future reunions will be held near our newly rented headquarters in the Dallas/Fort Worth area!
Katie and I were deeply moved that so many people came from all over the country, as well as from Mexico. Alums drove 10, 15, 18, and some over 20 hours to attend! They brought their spouses and children, and what a beautiful time it was. We actually had representation from every single class of interns all the way from the first class in Texas!
We were very encouraged to see that so many alums are serving the Lord; I am so proud of the marriages and families they’re building and those who are leveraging their lives for the Gospel. We heard from a number of interns who are currently living on the mission field who sent us special videos encouraging their fellow intern alums from around the world. It was moving to hear so many stories of what God did in their life as interns and what they’re doing now as a result.
It was amazing to hear over and over again how alums and their families were blessed by attending the weekend event. Alums would embrace me and tell me the story of what brought them to the Teen Mania weekend, and then described in detail the life-changing infusion from heaven that they experienced through one of the retreats, teachings, or as a result of a relationship they’d built.
Spouses who had been “adopted” into the Teen Mania family often chimed into the conversation saying, “The teaching you did really helped us. My spouse had me listen to it or shared the notes,” or “It’s because they went up Pike’s Peak that they’ve been able to deal with or overcome challenges in their marriage.” It was beautiful to see the families playing around the pool when they came over to Katie’s and my home for a cookout, picnic, and water fun.
I was honestly overwhelmed to see the response of the alumni as I shared my heart Saturday and Sunday night about the past, present, and future of Teen Mania. So many expressed their excitement for the future that God has called us to as we explore creative ways to minister to the 1.8 billion teens around the world.
Because of their longstanding relationship with the ministry, I shared information with them that I hadn’t shared online or through social media. I spoke personally and frankly about our shared past and our vision for the future, because the ministry and I need their prayers; we need their tremendous capacity for virtuous dialog.
At our first session together, I invited these alumni family members to share on a slip of paper their insights and suggestions about the future of the ministry. I invited any questions that they might have so that we could address them.
The loving embrace and overwhelming positive response regarding our future was more than words can express. The most moving time was during our final moments together when someone from the crowd spontaneously stood up and asked for everyone to join in prayer over Katie and me. We felt so loved and encouraged and truly ministered to by this alumni body.
Throughout the course of the two days staff and alums alike experienced the resolution of misunderstandings and joyous tears of forgiveness. We saw hope and encouragement renewed. There were stories shared by alumni of how they’d experienced failure in an area of their lives and, with God’s help, were putting their lives back together.
God is so good! Amen!
Katie and I wish that each of you could have been here for this beautiful weekend. We want to stay in regular communication with you.
I’ve attached the Saturday and Sunday night sessions and have included the Q&A for you so that you can watch at your convenience. I encourage you to listen and watch if you haven’t yet. I’d love to hear comments from you and thoughts regarding any of the information I shared.
One idea that was suggested that I want to share with you now was for an Alumni Marriage Retreat—open to Teen Mania alums and their spouses. We had one such marriage session during the Alumni Weekend and it was very encouraging. We all need to strengthen our marriages. If you’d be interested in this possibility, please respond by clicking this link so we can gauge alumni interest.
Also, Katie and I are seeking to build a Personal Prayer List of friends with whom we can share the specific needs of Teen Mania. We are grateful for the number of alums this past weekend who agreed to pray with us regularly. If you’d like to join us, please let us know by clicking on the link provided.
I hope each of you will join when we gather for the next Teen Mania Alumni Weekend. Be sure to stay in touch so that we can send you an invitation!
We love you and appreciate you. God Bless You!
Still Consumed by The Call,