Missionary Retreat – A Strange Beginning

What an unusual day! Today we started our retreat for North American based missionaries supported by CrossRoads. We do this for them every three years. Last November we did one of these for those missionaries based in Europe.

We have approx 31 here plus another 6 or so coming in tomorrow. Along with them, we have a number of staff and volunteers to help serve.
There were already a number of challenges that got tossed at us before we arrived on site but God has been faithful to give us what we need.
Karen and I arrived around 1pm today in the midst of a serious downpour. We started getting everything set up- welcome packs for each missionary and special activity packs for the kids. Little by little some of the volunteers started showing up and then around 4 the guests started arriving. Now the downpour was joined by crazy winds! Before long the power cut and the fun began. Dinner prep, toilets, drinking water …. all became challenges. No electricity meant no water as it is pumped out of a well.
Luckily our guests are missionaries and though they could have complained they were full of humour and grace.
We slowly got everyone checked in and eventually a light dinner was served. Right away I could tell this group is going to be great. Lots of chatter and solid conversations being had. Lots of mingling which I love to see!
After dinner we stared our evening program- introduction, a few get-to-know-you games, basics of orientation and then 9-square ( a very fun, interactive game we set up in the gym).
At some point during dinner we were told there was water again- no idea how but we are thankful! Then around 8 pm the power came back on. So, so thankful.
Everyone is now in their rooms, sleeping and hopefully allowing their minds to relax as they settle into a week of retreat.
What a gift it is to be able to do this for the missionaries we partner with!

Tomorrow looks to be a great day with worship and teaching, missionary presentations, massages for a few, free time and more.

Thank you for your prayers during this time.

Pastor Tracy

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