Renee and Sree may certainly add encouragement to you in their own perspectives but I will try and do it here.
1. It was thoroughly helpful. I was able to meet Renee and Sree, for example, face to face for the first time. I told Renee that I wished that my wife had been there to meet her too because she would've so enjoyed and identified with what Renee said. The Lord has refined that sister down to what matters, and it is clear that He continues to do so. She is full of passion for Him and the love of Jesus for people, and she has a laser-like focus on Him and His truth in our lives. I may never see her again this side of eternity, but in the brief interactions we were able to have I felt like I made an eternal friend. Sree -- I got to speak with him less. But, he also captured my heart. It blows me away how we seem to be on here and how much more there is about each other that we miss out on. I already liked Sree from his personality on here, but now I've embraced him as a brother physically and spiritually. So, Theophila, the first great thing about Saturday in Atlanta was meeting genuine believers and connecting with them in a heart level that overrode our distinct "pet views" that we nurse in forums (not just here, but all of them are like that). It made me want to meet more of you frequently. I can imagine how so many of our defenses will rightly yield to a spirit of love and unity in Jesus if we could meet face to face.
2. Beyond those two lovely folks, I met others I've never known or heard of and I have the same sense of unity with them. It was a maturing moment for me, really. Coming with no agenda, coming with nothing but open hands before Christ and a heart to love His people in that meeting, I walked away with a newer mind in Christ. Did every little single thing said or presented just ring my bell? No, of course not. Did every thing said or presented have its root in Jesus? I say, "Yes!". I learned more Saturday from Jesus by receiving and loving my brothers and sisters IN Jesus than many hours of serious prayer and bible study have often yielded in the past. That's not to minimize those disciplines and lifelines, but to emphasize now more than ever our complete need for and interdependency on the saints in a John 17 sort of way. I got a taste of that Saturday and I pray it takes root in me.
Theophila, as much as is in you, find a handful (2 or 3 will do well!) of others whom you trust that Jesus is doing a deep work in them, lay down your pet views (and you have them, I have them, we all do) and love one another deliberately. Be warm and kind to each other. Receive one another freely and lift one another up.
Can I give you an example from Saturday? My friend and brother in the Lord, Weaver, and I came together. Weav is part of our home fellowship, but he is also part of a Sunday brick-and-mortar church. He is still committed to that other way of living out his life in Jesus. Me? I'm wholesale, all-in on home fellowship as the way to move forward. This poses no obstacle between Weaver and me. So, here we are at this meeting on Saturday and -- man -- the whole initial reason and motivation for even STARTING a meeting in our home two years ago just came flooding back into me. I asked a brother there whom I'd only met that day to be in prayer for us to move as God will have us in terms of reaching some lost people in our community and other issues. That brother got me and Weaver, took us into a side room, and prayed right then and there for us. He didn't stop to qualify us. He didn't stop to sort out issues. He didn't ask if we were doing X, Y or Z. He prayed in the Spirit (not in tongues, but in the Spirit) a beautiful prayer that just laid out to God the very heart that I'd approached him with in the first place.
So, yes, be encouraged. They may be hours away from you. There may be only the rarest of meetings with many of them. But, there ARE believers hidden among the hedges of your place in the world and mine who have the heart of God in Christ Jesus made alive in them. Find them. Seek God for just one more.
There's more that I can say about Saturday in ATL, but this is already very long.
Pray for us.