I’m so excited to share with you about our first few weeks on the road as Team 10. We’ve put on 29 retreats so far in Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi and Michigan and we’ve been able to minister to 2,023 retreatants. As our wonderful team leader Brian put it, we are officially out of the “honeymoon phase”. I have to agree with him, and I most definitely say that with a smile on my face. We’re all pretty sleep deprived and we have lots of challenges each day, including but not limited to: dropping a wallet in the toilet (ehm…definitely wasn’t me), having our van break down, or having retreatants show up two hours before planned. No matter what though, we make it through with great peace, love and joy in our hearts and Jesus keeps chuckling and saying, “Yes you guys, my grace really is sufficient!” (2 Cor 12:9).
Lately, I’ve been amazed by what a privilege it is to be doing this work. I get to be surrounded by my teammates who overflow with strength, inspiration, support and and laughter day after day. We get to see God work in so many ways through other people and through ourselves. One retreat we had recently was only two hours long which is the shortest retreat possible, and afterwards our Host mom said to us, “I can’t know all that you accomplished during this retreat, but I can say that you’ve changed my life through your joy and passion for the Lord.” It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit can do with a few people with open hearts.
Part of my job as being the Marketing / PR Assistant is passing out “Share Your NET Experience” forms to the retreatants who would like to, well, share their NET experiences. One of my favorites has been from a young lady in Florida. Here’s part of what she wrote “… It was fun, emotional and memorable. I learned many things about Jesus and new things about myself. I realized that I need Jesus in my life and that he loves me. I will go home and pray more often… I can honestly say I’m leaving here as a different person and a more happy person than when I first came here. It’s amazing how life changing this experience was and it’s amazing what these people do. I would love for everyone in the world to go to a retreat in their lives.” Wow. How beautiful is that? She met Jesus in a new way, she wants to continue to get to know Him, let Him love her, and her joy was renewed! It’s things like this that fan our passion for this mission into an even bigger flame.
There are also plenty of instances that can’t be found on a ‘Share Your NET Experience’ form. On one retreat when I wasn’t leading a small group, I had the opportunity to pray over a few of the chaperones. I asked one of the ladies if she had any intentions and she said something generic and simple, but the moment I placed my hand on her shoulder and started praying, she began to weep. When I finished praying for her, she hugged me and wept some more. I’ll never forget that experience. I have no idea what was going on in her heart and mind, but I do know the Holy Spirit was a part of it. I also know that it’s a privilege to witness hearts being healed and transformed on a regular basis.
So, overall, your update from Team 10 is that we’re thriving. We work and play and love one another really well and we are so appreciative of what the Lord lets us do and witness each day. I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say that we feel the power of the prayers that are being offered for us. We are humbled by the amount of support we get from our families and friends at home, and the host families and retreat coordinators we encounter each day on the road. We hope all of you are having a blessed fall and are feeling the peace and freedom Jesus is offering you today. God Bless!