Andrew and I got away for about 48 hours this past weekend to attend the local FamilyLife Weekend to Remember event in Rochester, only this time we went as volunteers!
We went to a WTR last year in Virginia when it coincided nicely with our return from London. We’ve been dealing with a lot over the last few years (I know, who hasn’t?) and realized we hadn’t invested in our marriage like we should have. I wish I could say that the conference last year changed us, but if I’m honest, it didn’t. It wasn’t until we actually started READING some of the books we bought there and discussing them together that our relationship started changing for the better. (Right now, we’re reading Vertical Marriage and The Story of US, a one-year devotional.)
At that event, I told Andrew I thought we should look into volunteering at whatever conference was closest to us the following year. In our area, the event is held in Rochester and encompasses the Western New York region, including Buffalo and Syracuse. I reached out, got hooked up with the local team, and over the last year we’ve done a few meetings via Zoom and even went to the hotel a week ahead to pray over the event space.
Andrew and I manned the photo booth most of the weekend, but we also helped staff the prayer room. Reading the prayer requests that had been submitted, as well as praying directly with some of the individuals was powerful. At the end of the weekend, the local team helps the event directors sort through post-event evaluations. A selection are then submitted to leadership. MANY of them attest to how much an impact the event had on couples who said they were headed for divorce. It’s wonderful to see so many couples who feel they now have the tools to improve their marriages.
Saturday night at Weekend to Remember is always Date Night! The conference ends by about 4 pm, so couples have plenty of time to enjoy a night out.
I had chosen a place based on a recommendation from a friend, but upon closer inspection of the menu (by Andrew) it appeared to be mostly vegetarian (according to Andrew, it was “all eggplant and hummus”), so we had to scramble to find a place that wasn’t booked up on Open Table. Thankfully, we found a handful of more casual places, one of which was Neno’s Gourmet Mexican Street Food, which was a home run.
We split the molcajete, which was half shrimp and fish, half chorizo and steak. Per Andrew’s recent desire to ‘go meatless,’ I got the steak! It was all delicious, and we even had enough to take home to enjoy another time.
Andrew and I left feeling encouraged to continue working on our own marriage, and excited about the prospect of volunteering again at next year’s event. The local volunteer team made us feel as if we’d been part of the group the entire time, and we can’t wait to see everyone at the summer picnic they have. Although with all the snow we got today, summer feels a bit far away at this point….