2015 European Missionary Retreat
The triennial European Missionary Retreat was held in Mallorca, Spain, during the first week of November. This was an enriching time of rest, teaching and worship; a time for our missionaries working in Europe to come together from their various fields in Germany, Romania, Hungary and Italy (the Fletchers, who serve in Greece, were unable to come as they were expecting their second child). It was a time of blessing, and a time to be blessed. For the better part of a week, the missionaries and staff from CrossRoads, along with members of the MMT (Missionary Mobilization Team), came together in the name of the Lord to strengthen relationships with each other, to learn about each other, and to draw strength from each other. Each morning we were lead in worship by Pastor Dallas Lundell and his wife Kathy; it was such a gift for the missionaries to be able to worship in English, and I know they appreciated the heart and the talent throughout this time. Following that, we had a series of teaching on the book of Habbakuk by Pastor Dan Cochrane; in this book we followed the laments of Habbakuk as he calls out to the Lord concerning the wasteland of the world; ‘How long oh Lord, must I call for your help, but you do not listen”. Habbakuk sees the violence and the injustice in the world, things seem to be completely out of control. He asks of the Lord, “How long are you going to let this stuff go on?” God answers Habbakuk, but not the way we might expect; firstly he warns Habbakuk that things are going to get WORSE, not better. He then says to Habbakuk that He is working out His purposes in this world, so that one day, the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God. It is a challenge for us to accept that God is working out His purposes in the things that we see in this world; He was then and He is now. In spite of all appearances to the contrary, God is working out His purposes, and His Kingdom is advancing. Finally, we are called to rejoice in the Lord our Saviour, in spite of all circumstances surrounding us, ‘even though there are no sheep in the pen, and no cattle in the stalls.”
There were sessions set aside to allow the missionaries to reflect on the major happenings of the past few years and to discuss major changes and events affecting mission in our world today. Furthermore, there were blocks of time set aside for free time which some chose to use to rest. Others used it to enjoy some of the major attractions in Mallorca.
All in all it was a great time of fellowship, family and relaxation. See you all again in 3 years!
Some of the comments from our missionaries:
“Today I’ve been thinking again about the wonderful time we had at the retreat put on by CrossRoads. Thank you very much for all of the thought and effort and caring that you all put into making it a very enjoyable time. Thank you also for the gifts.
We feel that it was the best retreat yet, and here’s why: we got to spend quality time with people, both from CrossRoads and our missionary colleagues. Two things that facilitated that were the smaller group of people present and the longer retreat. Having a relaxed, flexible and not over-full schedule also helped.
We greatly appreciated Pastor Dan sharing not only the prepared material, but also his heart and thoughts. We enjoyed the ‘rabbit trails!’”
“Just a heartfelt thank you for all the work you did, the hours of prep before hand, the leg work, and the care you provided for us there.”
A very special thank you to the people of CrossRoads that directed gifts towards mission. It is through the generosity of CrossRoads people that we are able to offer such a special gift to the hard working missionaries we consider part of our family.
Following are some photographs from the retreat.