Saturday, January 31, 2009

The retreat started at 7:00 a.m. each morning and went all day long. We began the day with devotions by the school pastor and then had breakfast. Dad and I did all of the sessions each day. Dad had the pleasure of starting off the retreat. He did a great job teaching on many different subjects. A few things really stuck out to me. He taught on the need for unity among the staff. This was something really close to his heart as he experienced the effects that a lack of unity has on a school through the issues that Fountain City Christian School encountered last year. This was a very anointed and powerful teaching and I watched as God ministered to His people regarding the need for unity and the resulting power that comes with unity.
One thing I became grateful for right away was the way the school pastor was able to take the word God spoke through us and direct it to specific needs in the hearts of the staff without preaching the sermon again or without preaching a different sermon. He was very sensitive to what God was speaking and to what God wanted to do. We brought him up to close out each session. I appreciated him very much and he was a great asset to the ministry God sent us to do.
Another message that really stuck out to me was when Dad took some time and ministered to the group on how much they need each other. Dad split them in groups according to what they each did and then he pointed out what each group did, the importance of what they did, and what would happen if they weren't there doing their job. It was a very powerful time and they each realized how important the other persons are and that it takes everyone doing their part, using their particular individual gifts to accomplish what God wants to do in their schools, in their students, and in their country. It was a powerful time as Dad released them to appreciate one another.
Dad's last message came from Esther and the message of God putting a person in a place, in a position ... for such a time as this. It was an awesome way to end the retreat as God sent out the message that He has placed each person where they are for a specific purpose and for a specific time. The challenge went forth for each person to step up and have courage and do what God placed them there to do.
I ministered two sessions. The first day I ministered to the women on the Characteristics of a Wise Woman (while Dad ministered to the men on Men of Excellence). It was an awesome time of teaching and it was great to see the women receiving from God. The second day I ministered on inner healing and freedom in Jesus. I really believe this word went forth in power and began a work in the hearts of the people from which they will continue to see fruit over the next year. It was awesome to watch as the people received the word and allowed God to begin a healing in their hearts and begin to set them free. It was a great honor and privilege to be used by God to speak into the hearts of His people.
The worship was powerful all day, each day. I always love the hunger and the freedom in worship when we travel to other countries. The first night I couldn't understand a word that was said in the worship but I completely understood the heart of worship. I cried as I thought about the fact that I had no idea where I was or how to get home ... I didn't really know anyone but Dad ... I couldn't communicate with very many ... but I felt so at home and felt the awesome presence of God! It was a blessing!
We finished up the retreat on Saturday afternoon and they had prepared a wonderful snack ... a glass full of mixed fruits and juices ... very refreshing! We prepared to leave for Bogotá but got a little tour of the property before leaving. I will tell you about that in my next post!

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