We started to have a Spiritual Retreat a couple of years ago with just our staff. We really felt that is was important that the staff be refreshed and renewed by Jesus and also get their cups filled. So, we decided to try this method as a half day retreat when the children were on holiday. That way we could use volunteers to watch the young ones that were here or hire someone to watch them. So, after the first half day retreat, they were so excited and so thankful that we would give them this opportunity that they never had, they ask if it could become a full day and that it could be 2 times in a year and not just one. So, we said “Yes!” to both – Full day, and two times a year. Below, meet our staff: inside workers, outside workers and teachers.
Mid-April to mid-May is the first term school holiday for schools in Namibia. So, we delivered all but 6 of our children to either a parent, grandparent or auntie or brother/sister, or other relative for the school holiday. We are trying to get them used to their family and the village they have come from and might be going back to once discharged from Zion.
We have a few workers from the nearby village that have been doing some extra grounds clean up. Two of them are leaders at the nearby village church that we sometimes go to. We ask them if some of the people might want to come to the retreat. He said, “yes!” Well, we expected maybe 5-10 but he had a list of 30 people that wanted to participate!!! WOW!!! We felt it was another opportunity that God provided for us to share the word of God and also to build relationships in the community. Since there were even more coming from outside compared to our staff, we decided to make it 1.5 days so that we had at least a half day with just our staff. We worked hard to prepare messages, fun games, meaningful activities and food. Auntie Jenny’s specialty are mscones (rolls) so she was teaching all of us to make the MOST delicious ones!!! Yummmyyyyyyy!!!!
Day one was the half day. We talked about working for the Lord. We also talked about team work and getting along and showing love, one to another. We discussed the mission and goals of the village. We also had open discussion as to if we were achieving the goals and mission. Then we divided up into smaller teams and given a task to try to build the highest building in the world. The materials included bubble gum (which they had to chew) and toothpicks. We watched how they worked together. Some were the doers, some were the suppliers (chewed the gum), some were bossy and some watched the others.
After the morning session, we treated the staff to lunch. Then we were all hard at work to prepare the food for the next day when the 30 guests from the community church were coming.
We opened the main day with prayer and worship songs. It was a room filled with joy and love. Travis and Lorna both delivered a message and we ask two people from the community to also deliver a message. The theme was “LOVE” and the verse was John 3:16. We were even blessed to have someone on our staff to translate.
We had a delicious lunch and also 2 group activities. First the teams that were developed were ask to use their hands together to make a cross. The second was that there is a drought in the capital city of Namibia – Windhoek. They needed to get water to them but for every drop they lost, there was a person that would loose a life. Two of three teams made it and only spilled a bit but one team started over a couple of times and still spilled the whole cup!!! The teams were singing while they carried their water. Then, the ones that made it, were very excited!!!
At the end of the afternoon, we introduced “A date with God” that we learned from The Mission Society. God loves it when we come and spend time with Him. Time to talk and a time to listen. We set up 4 stations. One was a prayer wall where they could come and write prayer concerns and also pray for 2 others. Another was a collage wall where they were to ask God to give them a picture of what He sees when He looks at their heart. Another was where they were to ask God to give them a picture of what the Father’s love looks like, then draw it. The forth was called “Revelation Station”. They were to come and sit at the foot of the cross on the heavenly street of gold and meditate on the Word of God. We also prepared “scrolls” with a scripture and tied with a ribbon. Each received 2 scrolls and were to read and pray about one and give another to a friend and pray with them.
Since we were all gathered together we took the opportunity to lay hands on some that needed prayer and healing. One of our staff was so sick but she came and it was her birthday. So we baked BIG birthday cakes and sang to celebrate the life and love of Auntie Monica! 59 years young and she still rides her bike very far to come back and forth from her village to work at Zion. She is really a blessing. (Yes, it did make her cry)
WOW!!! What a great couple of days!!! Filled with love from each other, the opportunity to serve the community, the opportunity to refresh and respond. Mostly, it was FILLED with GOD.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16