I sat staring at a blank page, trying to find a way to express the scope of the weekend the FHA had September 20 and 21. We have been planning for months. Conference calls and collaboration with Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, The Manhattan Declaration, and the New Jerusalem Church have been a constant. This being the first event of its kind ever, there were so many details to work out, so many questions. We had no baseline to work from, no stats from the previous year to compare against. Then there was the language barrier, which was no small issue in its own right. So to say, that the First Annual Hispanic Biblical Worldview Conference stretched the FHA out of our comfort zone would be putting it rather mildly! We were praying for 20 Hispanic ministry leaders in attendance Friday evening and Saturday morning. We really weren’t even sure how to guess how many might show up for the finale Saturday evening. There were plenty of nerve racking hiccups along the way. Our translator arrived from Las Vegas on time, but on the wrong side of the state. Dale Bartscher was able to pick him and a friend of his up at the Rapid City airport and they traveled with Dale to Sioux Falls. A couple of the scheduled speakers had to cancel at the last minute. So there was a fair amount of tension the last few days before the event. Finally, the day arrived and the important pieces were all in place. Instead of 20 Hispanic leaders, 60 showed up for our Friday evening and Saturday morning events. The speakers were superb. The fellowship with our Hispanic brothers and sisters was amazing. The translator (an amazing guy named Edgar) added a layer of humor to the process of communicating the importance of a Biblical Worldview. Then Saturday evening arrived and the sanctuary at Sioux Falls First Church began to fill. In amazement we watched as 200 Hispanics and their friends arrived to participate. Each of the speakers and our interpreter took the stage and delivered a powerful insightful series, defending life, liberty, and God’s definition of marriage. We are including in this article, the Saturday Evening introduction by our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher, and the address on marriage by FRC’s Randy Wilson. We will post the full complement of videos and have them ready for you next week. It was genuinely an amazing weekend and it was an honor to have been a part of it. Special thanks go out to our Sioux Falls area representative LaVonne Fosness. Without her tireless efforts on the ground in Sioux Falls, this event would have not been nearly the success it was. Also, a huge thank you goes out to Pastor Salomon Garcia who, along with the New Jerusalem Church, did so much to make this a success.
Side Notes: It also bears mentioning that other organizations, including Focus on the Family are planning to use this event as a prototype for nationwide projects. You can see additional pictures from the event on our Facebook page here. Stay tuned. We will be posting more on this event and the followup as time permits.