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Archive for the 'FEW Conference' Category



At the end of time, will we receive the crown of righteousness at the hand of our righteous Lord as a reward for loving His appearing? In our day and age, where is the comfort found in I Thessalonians 4: 17-18? “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” In contrast to this, have we simply made ourselves comfortable in our daily lives, enjoying what prosperity brings us and reveling in what the world gives, rather than in what our relationship with Christ gives?

We were once again blessed with the opportunity and immense privilege of assisting to host the sixth annual Virginia Family Encouragement Weekend. While seeking to serve and encourage fellow believers whom the Lord had brought our way, we continually found ourselves being served and encouraged. Is not this what Christianity in its element ought to look like? We rejoice in how  He worked… families and individuals were blessed through fellowship, prayer, sessions, and laughter. Praise the LORD!


~ Portraits, a lasting treasure… a FEW of the precious attendees ~

IMG_1369A darling family... how we love them!!IMG_1362


~ Conference Candids ~

"Let no man despise thy youth,"  - our youngest speaker preparing her testimony. :-)The wrapping marathonSomethin' dynamic ;-)IMG_1314

Aunt & Niece, good friends :-)"...And that's how we stick... Together!"


Uncle and Aunty with Nephew - pricelessIMG_1495Just for giggles :-)


~ The Technical Side of Things ~


“There’s a course that must be finished, there’s a race that must be run.

There’s a mission to accomplish, and a battle to be won!

We’ve been called to take the challenge by God’s might and through His Son;

He will give us grace to complete the race, moving forward, pressing on.

“Toward the hope of our high calling toward the promise we’ve received,

With the strength that we’ve been given, pressing on to victory!

And toward the One who’s run before us, as we lay each weight aside,

‘Til the race is run, ‘til the prize is won, ‘til we reach the finish line, press on!

“There’s a faithful cloud of witnesses who inspire us in our task.

They have fought the fight, they have run the race, they have won the crown at last!

And the lives they’ve lived remind us that though the race at times seems long,

God will give the grace to complete the race, and the courage to press on.

“Toward the hope of our high calling toward the promise we’ve received,

With the strength that we’ve been given, pressing on to victory!

And toward the One who’s run before us, as we lay each weight aside,

‘Til the race is run, ‘til the prize is won, ‘til we reach the finish line,

Press On!”*

Press On!

*by Brigette Smisor Shevy, Copyright 2004 by THE WILDS. All right reserved.



At the end of time, will we receive the crown of righteousness at the hand of our righteous Lord as a reward for loving His appearing? In our day and age, where is the comfort found in I Thessalonians 4: 17-18? “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet them in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” In contrast to this, have we simply made ourselves comfortable in our daily lives, enjoying what prosperity brings us and reveling in what the world gives, rather than in what our relationship with Christ gives?

A couple of weekends ago we were blessed to have the opportunity to host the 2013 NC FEW Conference. It was a blessing and encouragement to be challenged in your relationship with Christ, your family, and others as we were taught from the Word of God and fellowshipped with each other. The goal of the Family Encouragement Weekend was once again played out as many like-minded families joined together in the name of Jesus to encourage each other, learn from one another, and pray together. Praise the Lord!

~ Preparation and Set-up ~

IMG_4698Simply awe-struck at what God has done!Best Bro's!

IMG_4733Working. Or snacking??IMG_4757

A look......around......the room!

A beautiful example of a godly marriage. Praise the Lord!"Pretend that you like each other!" "Okay, it's for real." :-)

~ Wonderful and Blessed Fellowship ~

Sweet SistersIMG_4785Encouraging and building up one another.

More Sweet SistersJoy in the Lord

Still More Sweet Sisters


IMG_4849Building Friendships on the Foundation of the Family

~ The Ladies’ Tea ~


On the technical side... :-)IMG_4816

Our dear mother sharing years of tested advice from many a homemaker's experience. IMG_4802Delight at learning from others.

~ Discipleship ~


Praying for our parents... a blest time. IMG_4865

~ Encouraging and Challenging Sessions ~

Do you love His appearing?Oh, the joys of living in harmony with each other!

Father and Son......sharing with fathers and sons.

L-R: Musical Moriah, Meditative Micah, Map-happy Molly, Marvelous MaryLou, Merry Mikaela, Max the Middleman and his "edges."What a wonderful testimony of what God can do with two lives committed to His ways and living in complete surrender!

"Be an energy giver!""Share the gospel with those who have never heard."


Press On!


“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

Oh how grateful we are for the Schmechel family and their decision to redeem the time! Driven by a passionate love for Christ and a desire to uplift and edify His Church, they spent weeks and months, which could have all-too-easily been spent for themselves, in planning for and preparing for the first ever NH FEW Conference. So much thought, so much prayer, so much energy was poured out without any anticipation of earthly reward. But as so often happens, the Lord multiplied their efforts and many, many lives were blessed and changed because of their self-sacrifice and service.

We arrived at the Schmechel’s home, Bittersweet Farm, on Thursday evening and were greeted by a peaceful atmosphere and a delicious lasagna dinner! Not only had they done everything to prepare for the conference itself, but they graciously offered to host the entire FEW Team in their lovely farm house! What a time of joy as we got settled and fellowshipped late into the night!

Schmechel ladies... busy yet again!Final registration prep

Hannah -- on loan to the Schmechels for the weekend! We soooo enjoyed getting to know her!!Teamwork!

The conference began Friday afternoon. Oh for words to describe the blessings that unfolded!

The music from the orchestra -- stunning!IMG_1340Children's session: a visit from "Dr. Walter Wilson" :)

Mom sharing heart-to-heart with the ladiesSession: Practical Hospitality

Wilkes Team #2!Joy in sharing the Word

Session: Turning a Crisis into a ClassroomSession: Preparing Young Men -- and fulfilling the Great CommissionSession: Preparing Daughters

During the weekend, we blessed and encouraged by evidence of family harmony as seen through the interaction of siblings.

Give instructionSpend time togetherShow support and give encouragment

Love unconditionallyShare your heart

Lead in paths of righteousnessEnjoy the journey of life Have fun together!

As always, the fellowship shared was a foretaste of Heaven!







NH FEW -- can't wait till next year!

Thank you, Schmechel family, for choosing to redeem the precious time that the Lord has given you by spending it for others. Many lives will never be the same for it.

To God be the glory!

2012 VA FEW Conference

Posted by The Neely Team




“…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear…” I Peter 3:15

Orderliness... precision...Writing notes of encouragement

Ladies session:

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient unto their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4-5


Children’s session (during couples’ prayer time) and discipleship game time:

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward… Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5

AttentivenessMeet the special guests: Accelerating Salary Sam, Mr. Barns, Practically Perfect Pamela, and Hiker Hank!

IMG_0530IMG_0514IMG_0522Let sisterly love continue

May we all be energy givers!IMG_0567IMG_0581

Other sessions:

“That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee…” Proverbs 22:19


Fellowship… and other moments Smile:

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…” Proverbs 17:22



Capturing life......from all different angles.

The joy of the Lord is my strength!Cleaning...... the trash cans. :/

To God be praise and glory!

“I will praise thee forever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.” Psalm 52:9

Join us in New Hampshire (September 7-8) for the final FEW of 2012!!

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15

Our final journey (at least for those few weeks Smile) took us to visit the Staddon Brigade and help host the WV FEW Conference. The Lord blessed the effort that went into it all, and though in numbers the conference was smaller than some, in unity and sweet fellowship it was truly great. What a precious time to be together with other like-minded believers who desire to reject the ways of the world and seek Christ in every aspect of life, and to hear the Word proclaimed in clear and practical teaching!

The FEW Team kicked off the weekend with a special birthday celebration!Getting to know the newest member of the FEW Team... just precious!

IMG_9586Working together to get everything ready for the orchestra


The three Team mothers shared during the ladies' sessionMeet "Practically Perfect Pamela"... and learn how to combat the lies she is believing with the powerful truth of Scripture. (Children's hour skit :-))"Accelerating Salary Sam" :-D

Game time!Future leaders

Several of the young ladies were able to share during the "Preparing Daughters" session"Preparing Daughters""Preparing Young Men"

Powerful testimonies in the "Preparing Young Men" sessionWhat a great applesauce-making team!

Time to build relationshipsA rousing game of "Layers!"

For more information about the upcoming FEW Conferences in Virginia and New Hampshire, drop us comment!

NC Family Encouragement Weekend

Posted by The Neely Team



Much anticipation had been built. It was time for the conference to begin. Then all of a sudden, it was over. It all happened so fast! But we came away having seen the work of the Lord and encouraged to press on. We were challenged by the Word, motivated by testimonies of young people striving to serve Christ, and encouraged and uplifted by the fellowship and prayer times with other families.

The North Carolina FEW was the first of four planned conferences this year. We look forward with great excitement to the next FEW and the continued work of the Lord! May Jesus Christ be praised!

Game time!!

PreciousDiscipleshipStory time

Getting ready for supper!Serving the food

Chicken nachos.... MmmmmCookies --- the signature FEW snackRegistration team

He has made everything beautiful in His time

OrchestraIMG_9839The children's sessionGetting feedback :)


Precious -- siblings are such a blessing from the LordGame time :)

The young ladies shared how their fathers are preparing them for the future.Sharing practical tips on hospitalityChalk talk

IMG_0085Humor :) ( It was indeed really good! :))JoyFriends

Oh the joys of little ones! These are the voices of tomorrow.A girls' table filled with smilesThe ultimate challenge to see how many people we could get around one table -- the norm was 8 -- the max was about 16. :)


Rejoicing in the goodness of God

The sleep of a laboring man (or lady :) is sweetIMG_0151IMG_0146IMG_0132


IMG_0175Getting ready for the group shot....Everyone lining up....

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory!"

If you are interested in receiving information on upcoming FEW Conferences, leave us a comment and we’ll add you to the contact list.

FEW Conference Preparation

Posted by The Neely Team



The FEW Conference “season” for 2012 is beginning!

Studying for sessions

Preparing testimonies

Anticipation is building... and so is the pile on the garage shelves! :)

Please be in prayer for our family, as well as for the Wilkes and Staddon families, as we prepare for the 2012 conferences. Pray that God would grant us wisdom, direction, and unity; that the He would go before us and work out every little detail in His perfect way; that we would trust in His sovereignty; that families would be encouraged,strengthened, and drawn closer to the Lord; and most importantly, that Jesus Christ alone would receive the glory and honor due His Name!

“But thou, O man of God…follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith…” 1 Timothy 6:11-12


If you would like to receive more information about the FEW Conference ministry or about upcoming conferences and locations, please contact us.

VA FEW Conference

Posted by Jessica



If there is one need that all families have in this day and age, it is encouragement. All around us we see attacks on the family. Questions run through our minds: “Is there anyone headed the same direction?” “How do we pass the baton to the next generation?” “Is the battle really worth it?” “What should our response be?” “How do we equip our sons and daughters to fight?”

The purpose of the Family Encouragement Weekends is to encourage and exhort, and to bring families together in an atmosphere of fellowship. We had the joy of serving along-side the Wilkes and Staddon families last month and hosting the 4th Annual VA FEW Conference. What a blessing we received as we fellowshipped with other like-minded people, sought the Lord through prayer, and were exhorted to pass the baton to coming generations!!

Friday morning some families gathered for a history lesson at a local Civil War Battlefield.Prayer - the greater workSupper and fellowship timeThe orchestraMr. Wilkes shared powerful messages and encouraged everyone to search their hearts.Little ones -- the vioces and leaders of tomorrowIt is always a joy to meet new families!Jenny -- a diligent serverIMG_4302FriendsPhotographing the event :-)Sisters with sisters :-)Mother and daugther -- oh! the sweetness of a friendship in this relationship!Discipleship game timeSportsmanship and teamworkWhat a blessing to have fathers who cry out to God!Family harmony is priceless!Mr. Stelzl shared some motivating thoughts on entrepreneurshipBrothers and friendsDonald did a fabulous job on the chalk drawing, and challenged us to teach by analogy.IMG_4511 - CopyThe blessings of fellowship in Christ are hard to describe!JoyMom time :-)Enthusiasm and exhaustion always creates an exciting combination!

2011 West Virginia FEW Conference!

Posted by The Neely Team



The Wilkes and Neelys arrived at the Team HQ for the weekend - - the Staddon's house!Fellowship over dinner

Prep timeCozy time

Prayer is our greatest workNothing is too big or too small to take to the Lord in prayer

Famous FEW Conference Fresheners :)Our sound team!

Registration team minus one!Resources

PreciousThe Friday evening meal

IMG_3301Getting to know each otherTali-Joy and Hannah

Michael and some little buddiesThe orchestra

IMG_3376Practicing brotherly loveIMG_3404

Jonathan and KenanDiscipleship

MothersPatience and JenniferEsther and Victoria

The dads had a prayer time before lunch on Saturday while the mothers made lunch and the kiddos had game timeWe all need each other!

Partner with little ones...Make blessing others your focusA mother's gentle love

IMG_3516Discipleship game time!IMG_3543

Use the gifts God has given your family to encourage other families!The whistle section of the orchestra :)Dad

Donald's chalk art, emphasizing the power of teaching by analogy, was beautiful!Strong father-daughter relationships must be cultivated

Sarah, Bethany, Titus, and KathrynGod created your siblings to be your best friendsKindness

Mom and Mrs. RothLet the little ones helpMr. and Mrs. Staddon

The three couples shared insight on faithfully conducting family worship Sisters in the Lord

IMG_3625IMG_3639Back at the Staddon's house after the conference, more adventure took place...Michael the brave!

Meal time at the Staddons was always a delicious experienceDanielle and Esther

A porch packed with encouragement!Sweet companionship makes the steep spots in life pass quickly


Post-conference sound projectsMaking melodySistersMr. Joe Harpely with his makers :) - creativity

The FEW Conference Team!!!!! Praise the Lord!

We praise the Lord for repeated evidence of His blessing and power during the entire conference! To Him be the praise and glory!

2011 NC Family Encouragement Weekend

Posted by The Neely Team



Recently the Lord blessed our family with the opportunity to host the 2011 NC Family Encouragement Weekend Conference (FEW Conference) with the Wilkes and Staddon families!! As we all labored together to make this vision a reality, it was a delight to watch the Lord pull everything together according to His perfect plan!

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

The Lord’s ways truly are far above ours, and His plans for the conference once again surpassed our imaginations! The “Conference Team” discovered that when we willingly offer ourselves to His service and surrender our will completely to His, that He loves to take our humble offering and turn it into something beautiful – of real value.

Throughout the weekend, attendees heard biblical teaching, fellowshipped with like-minded believers, and participated in Christ-honoring worship through song. During a game time for the young people on Saturday, older children were given the opportunity to disciple little ones. Special family prayer times allowed fathers to lead their families in a time of searching their hearts, confessing bitterness, and seeking the Lord.

We praise our Heavenly Father for the work that He was doing throughout the weekend! We pray that each family walked away from it encouraged to press on toward Christ-likeness by spending more time in His Word together and striving to build strong, lasting relationships within their homes.

Soli Deo Gloria!

A special challenge to all who attended:

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…” Philippians 1:6

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of Whom thou hast learned them…” II Timothy 3:14

The Staddon family reunites!Jennifer and Matthew - burning the "midnight oil" with everyone else :)Titus with his "Mr. Daniel"

Games at midnight (or later :)) can be quite the riot!Friend + Fruit = FUN!!The planning continues...

Ready for the action to begin!Registration teamFellowship in Christ - what can be sweeter?

How we need the wisdom these possess!Checking in...

OrganizationJoy - HannahLittle ones are special to Jesus!

Joshua, Nathan, Curtis, and MatthewMotherly fellowshipAmber and Amanda - dear friends!

Tiffany and LezleyLove - Kendalyn and RobertDetermination - Daniel

Wonderful things happen around the dinner table!IMG_0271

One of the many excellent sound techniciansIMG_0280Hannah encouraged us in Scripture memory by quoting part of Colossians 3

Titus and SarahIMG_0301Dad and Mom were both able to share this time!


Susanna was a great help with the babies and little onesVictory!!"Follow Mr. James"

Donald presents "Teaching by Analogy"Hannah and Bethany :)Prayer shared between believers is precious

Orchestra!!The parents were able to do a few panel discussions/testimonies - such a blessing!

"Send Forth Thy Power"Bethany

Let brotherly love continueIMG_0498

IMG_0509James, Tim, and Mr. BarnesA.J., Kathryn, and Lauren

Sophie and LaurenBrotherly fellowship...Sisterly fellowship!

We needed everyone to help us consume the enormous number of cookies. Every bite counts! :) :)There is beauty in the simple things of lifeMatthew with some little guys

Be willing to learn - Discipleship guitar :)The Lord has great things in store for these two!Donavan and Jenny

We appreciated all the willing help from different members of these two familiesBethanyCompassion

More brotherly love!Feed your helpers :)IMG_0619

Even more brotherly love!IMG_0626The Sunday orchestra

Jenny and HannahSarah and Sarah :) :)Kris and Sheri

To see other reports and pictures, please visit:

The Wilkes Team

The Staddon Family

FEW Conference Team! Praise the Lord!!