The New Hope staff came together for dinner on the Saturday of Envisioning. Each department enjoyed food of a selected ethnicity including American, Ugandan, Liberian, and Indian meals. Staff shared the preparation of the meal turning the afternoon and evening into a time of fellowship.
The teaching portion of Envisioning resumed on Monday with Pastor Brian Watts from Canada discussing Biblical marriage and parenting. He centered the discussion around God’s glory reminding the audience that whether they were single or married; biological, spiritual, or adoptive parents; everything should be oriented to God’s purposes and glory.
Pastor Brian identified obedience, unto the Lord, as the goal in Biblical Parenting. For those with older children, the challenge then becomes how to move them from obedience towards submissive questioning to discover the “why” where they previously operated in response to the “what” so as to grow in obedience.
Drawing from Psalm 127, Pastor Brian described children as arrows. He encouraged parents to pray that God might reveal some hint of the direction their children will go so they can actively cultivate those gifts and prepare them. An arrow means that it will go where the shooter is not and must be released to fulfill its purpose. After actively listening to the child, then nurturing and cultivating their God-given gifts, Pastor Brian reminded the staff that children must be handed over to the Lord just as God sent His Son because He loved the world.