We just returned from the Leader's Retreat. As we had thought, there was no WiFi without a phone (the Phone signal was very strong), which is why we haven't had a post in a few days.
The retreat was a great deal of activity. Each of the different ministry teams had planning and operations sessions and we had several whole group meeting for worship, encouragement and instruction. There were a number of activities to build relationships and the activities were tied to the instruction as illustrations of the principles being taught.
This year was a bit of a challenge in regard to having a very wide age range of participants. The ages ranged from 13 to 40! It worked out well for the break-out sessions, but it was difficult to target the teachings effectively. The participants were very gracious, it is difficult to listen and engage with a translated message. Despite the language challenge, there were some good discussions and after one of the sessions many responded to come forward for prayer for the things holding them back from fully experiencing the power of God in their lives. Overall, it appears that the retreat was helpful in drawing the teams together, preparing the teams for their work and allowing opportunity to work through the respective schedules. Everyone was grateful for the time to work through the details before the events began, and to get to know the other people that they will be working with.
Barb had a couple of crafts that went over very well, and provided an opportunity for her to get to know several of the younger participants in the group. She had an opportunity to take one of the teaching sessions directed to the younger participants to talk about how the "Fruit of the Spirit" is a progressive development that requires us to be engaged and intentional in how we live out our faith. She has picked up a virus and has been feeling quite run down, but the worst of it is that she had almost completely lost her voice! Please pray for healing and strength - particularly as we are heading out on Monday to camp in tents for a few days.
Lilly (our friend and translator), has been working very hard to keep our communications clear, yet she has invited us to have dinner with her and her family this evening. Tomorrow is church and lunch with other some of the other workers there. Then, on Monday, off to the wilderness (prayer for good weather would not be discouraged)!
Thank you all for your Prayers, Blessings,