30 May 2016

MISSIONARY RETREAT

In the years we have been in Spain – and now on the island of Majorca - we have had the opportunity to invite pastors from USA and Canada to come and minister to the congregation and to the leaders. Recently we had a ‘full’ weekend - the leadership tries to make the most of the ministry of a visiting pastor, and the folk here love receiving the encouragement and teaching from God’s Word. The theme was: The Way of the Shepherd. 
The last session concluded with:
LEADERS must be:
1.    Good listeners – James 3:17
a.    To the voice of God – 1 Samuel 2:  ; John 10:27
b.    To people
2.    Always Learning
a.    Room to improve, to grow
b.    Always have a book you are reading
3.    Great Lovers
a.    Love people
b.    Willing to pay the price
c.     How valuable are the sheep?
d.    Ex. High Priest – Old Testament – on his breast place – had the names of each tribe of Israel
-          Love = personal touch/time
-          Pray for people
-          Pat them on the back
-          Send cards or messages
The Love of Christ is the most powerful force in the world.
It really was a full weekend -Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening, Sunday and then again on Monday evening - a great weekend of teaching on Leadership.

The following day we left for the Europe Together Retreat  - a missionary retreat that takes place every three years. It is so good to meet together with others who are ministering in different parts of Europe. This year it was held in Croatia! I had never been to Croatia. What a special treat! What a beautiful country!

The theme verse was, Micah 6:8 – “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly.”
  • Justice – stand with the MARGINALIZED
  • Mercy – engage the SECULARIST
  • Humility – inspire REVITALIZATION

And the theme for the three days was “TOGETHER”  TOGETHER - in Praise, Together Again, Together in Vision, in Prayer, in Purpose, in Mission, in Community, in Service and concluding with Better Together as we shared together the Lord's Supper followed by a wonderful and challenging message from our World Missions Director.

The highlights for me were: Together in Prayer. Special petitions were made for specific people groups in each country as leaders came to the front, one after another, from both sides of the auditorium - “Lord hear our prayer” and Together in Community. Groups of 8 – 10 met according to the pictures on our nametags. I was Scotland. Hubby was Paris. We first introduced ourselves, (well, first we ordered refreshments), told where we were and what the Lord was doing, then we shared what God was speaking to us at this retreat. We ended by praying together for one another. I only knew two in my group and was so happy to meet new ones – from France, from Italy, from Germany, from Belgium, the Czech Republic.

Together Again!
  • with many we see every three years.
  • with those we met 15 years ago, 12 years ago and we remember them and reconnect, (& take photos together!)

A thrilling moment – one that touched us – was to meet some of the local pastors and their families, pastors of small, but growing congregations in Croatia, people who have lived through many difficult times. “Look – come and see what God is doing in our country!” said one. “We have never had so many believers together here.” They were taking it all in – the singing, the songs, the way of worship, the messages. We pray especially for them – for strength, encouragement, the power of the Spirit as they plant churches in their land.

“Nothing is impossible with God!” was the encouragement given as we concluded our time together.

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