So Far So Good
We did it! As we climbed off the final airplane after 27 hours of travel and noted how swollen our ankles were it finally began to dawn on us that we are really here on the other side of the globe and that this event that Linds and I look forward to every year has finally come: the Area Retreat! For us, this is almost better than Christmas :)
We love these retreats for many reasons, and in the last day or so that we've been here we've already experienced many of them. We love our team - it is always a privilege to be able to work with like-minded people who are able to complement each others' gifts and abilities without any jockeying to the spotlight but with a delight to put others first. We love tasting a new culture - experiencing the different nuances of how life works and what values and priorities are held always reflects God's creativity uniquely, and by getting to know his creation in a new light we also get to know the Creator in a new light as well. We love our tasks - the opportunity to help design and build a youth ministry experience during this week draws out much of our own creativity (just wait till we post the videos we are making for this year)! We love all of the people that work for this organization - the opportunity to meet together with so many amazing men and women who are using the gifts and lives that God has given them is always so humbling and encouraging. When we are here it is a wonderful reminder that even if it isn't always making headline news, God is working constantly and powerfully through his people in his world.
But most of all, we are excited about meeting all of the students! Only a couple have arrived so far, but over the next few days the families are going to come pouring in, and on Wednesday we will get to start meeting them all face to face, playing games together, getting to know one another, meeting in small groups, worshiping together, and simply just plain ol' hanging out together. We love it, we are so excited, and we are incredibly thankful for all you who are praying for us while we are here and who have helped make it possible for us to come. Please pray for us today as we begin meeting as a whole team (the first time in person) and planning what the week will look like.