Friday, August 31, 2012

God's Story

One of the things I have learned and grown to love over the last few years is how God is writing His story across generations, nations and cultures in the lives of people.  I mentioned yesterday about how I fell in love with so many of the people I met on my trip.  During the retreat we were each part of a discussion group.  We ate together, we prayed together and we discussed what we were learning during our time together.  Being a relational person I loved all this togetherness.  Sharing the pictures of my family at home, trying to learn some Swahili, finding out about their families, friends, schooling and ministry.  I was touched deeply by the people in my group.

Ann, me, Dorthy, Chrissy, Leah, Ochieng (Fredrick)

God used the people in my group (and so many other leaders I met) to encourage me, challenge me and strengthen my faith.  This retreat was not attended by the faint of heart, it was attended by people who are serious about their faith, about their ministry and about their nation coming to know Christ as Lord.  Each person I encountered was open, honest and vulnerable about what God means to them and what He is doing in their lives.  There were no false pretenses, no emotional guards, no surface niceties.  I have never experienced the depth of connection and vulnerability in such a short time as I did with these people.  It truly was an amazing experience and I am blessed to have been a part of it.

We enjoyed moments of fun, relaxation, reflection, challenge, praise, worship encouragement and unity.  During one worship time we took time to reflect on who God is.  We spent a period of time just saying out loud "God Is...." Worshiping, honoring and glorifying God together.  We ended that time of worship by singing 10.000 Reasons (Matt Redman).

 "Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name"

We also learned to praise and worship African style.  Of course I had to bring some of that home and share it with you.

The last part of the retreat was for each person in attendance to trace their hand on a piece of paper and write down their prayer requests.  After writing down the requests we took time to walk around and pray over every persons requests.  I was able to place my hand on the hand of my Kenyan brothers and sisters and pray to God on their behalf.  And they did the same for me!  Let me just tell you I was blown away by the passion, the vulnerability, the depth and the fervor that happened that day.  It was a truly sacred time.  I felt the heartbeat for the country of Kenya, the passion for their families and friends and their ministry mindset for the students they work with.

There were so many great moments on the retreat, moments God ordained for each person who was present and many that will go unspoken. The take home for me (and possibly you) is that God is working in people's lives. He is willing to write His story of redemption on every heart that is open to Him.  When we take time to understand someone else's story and when we take time to share our story with others, then we can see life transformation happen.  Transformation starts with me; with my face to face relationship with my Savior and with my willingness to be in face to face relationships with others.  I am blessed to have learned and been a part of so many other people's stories and pray that all of us would engage in life together.  It is both the beauty and the mess that makes a story complete.  Let us not forget to share with one another.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

enjoying reading about your trip!