I’ve been gone from my blog for about two weeks due to a bit of depression. I am usually a very up person but certain circumstances converged on me all at the same time and really threw me for a loop. No need to reflect on what happened so here is a SQUEE about what changed me.
On Thursday night I began what would truly turn out to be an awesome weekend retreat. I was on the background team for a woman’s retreat, Walk to Emmaus. I was assigned to work on the kitchen team that would be preparing 8 meals over three days for 85 women. I actually had thought on Wednesday about “calling in sick” as I just wasn’t in the mood for sleeping in a sleeping bag on an air mattress with 6-8 other women in a small room, no shower facilities and not being able to wash my hair for 4 days (think camping). God must have heard me and pushed me out the door Thursday night as he had plans for me,
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I arrived at the site of the retreat and didn’t know anyone, where to go or what to do. I met a woman who also was helping for the first time and together we got directions where to put our stuff and where to report back when we were settled. We started cooking on Thursday night for Friday morning breakfast and preping some things for Friday lunch. Did I mention this was for 85 people?! Most of the kitchen team didn’t know each other and most had never cooked for this many people at one time. The “Kitchen Boss” was organized and had a schedule of what things needed to be done and which team would do what. Guess what? Everyone helped everyone else and no team had to do any task alone. If one team was done with their task, they jumped in to help another team. I was amazing to have 15-20 cooks in the kitchen at one time and everyone together for the good of others! We quickly started to get to know each other and by midnight when we went to bed I think we were all looking forward to the next day and being together.
Let me back up a bit. The people we were preparing for (in addition to ourselves and the background Agape Team) were 23 women on a spiritual retreat to connect with God, the speakers and those who were in the forefront of serving the women as they made their journey through this retreat.
The Walk to Emmaus is a spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. The program’s approach seriously considers the model of Christ’s servanthood and encourages Christ’s disciples to act in ways appropriate to being “a servant of all.”
Little did I know, that I would be rewarded on this weekend. No, not physical rewards, though I did come home with a full bag of agape memento’s. I was rewarded with:
- New Fellowship with Sister’s in Christ
- Spiritual Renewal by hearing God’s word
- Spiritual Renewal by singing praise to God
- Spiritual Renewal by praying for others
- Spiritual Renewal by sacrificing for others
I won’t tell you about all of these but just say that I was filled by the Holy Spirit, just in time!! I spent a lot of time crying with joy over many things: that the meals were on time to be served, the beautiful music we sang, the wonderful prayers we said, Holy Communion, the women I met, that my Tiny Group sisters Donna and Cindy served on this retreat with me (they were on the Agape Team), that God was always present.
The funny story I have was over onions. I was asked to prep 7 cups of diced onions for one of the dishes. I asked if it was because I was always crying and what were a few more tears over onions? Well, when I started to chop the onions I asked God if he wanted me to cry when I peeled and chopped the onions or save the tears to cry for joy. Guess what? I didn’t cry when chopping the onions but cried immediately afterwards when we were asked to pray for someone!!
I could go on and on but I think this will give you a glimpse of what a wonderful weekend this was. If you want more information about Walk to Emmaus click on this link