Friday, 30 April 2010

A weekend to remember

Staff retreats are all about getting away.

Well we almost didn't get away (at least all of us) - and we almost didn't arrive.

Last Friday we boarded the Nagercoil express for Pune. One door was blocked so we all thronged into the other. The 20 odd of us from the JSK team and our families and sundry passengers going to Tamil Nadu. In the doorway someone had put big boxes.

Chaos. Shouting. Pushing. Babies crying. Us all trying to get in - knowing that the train would leave in less than 5 minutes.

I somehow got inside and opened an emergency window - which allowed us to bring in some of our boxes. The train started going - I saw Michael and Rahul still on the platform. They somehow pushed in.

Then my heart sank. Some 2o meters away Malini stood alone on the platform. She had not been able to get in. The train was moving away.

I looked up and pulled the emergency chain. Pulled and pulled.

The train stopped. I shouted for Malini to get in. She did. A minute later the train started up again. We were all on board. Tired and shaken.

Then when we got to Pune the heavens opened.

It poured delicious cool rain.

We were strung out in a small army of auto-rickshaws moving from the station to the Bible Centre. The rain lashed us with its coolness.

And then a crash.

A large branch had broken off a tree and fell to the ground. It just missed our autorickshaw - and fell in front of the next one which was following us. A close shave - literally!

We got to the centre shaken - and ready for the retreat.

JSK next generation!

Were we ever glad to be away together. For two and a half magical days we drunk deep from God's word thanks to Bro. Oliver Amana, ate excellent food, talked, laughed, slept, played, sang and prayed.

On Saturday we had challenging sessions by Bobby Zachariah and Chandrakant Wakankar. There is so much to learn - and it is a joy to get good stuff in our minds and hearts!

Next year we will win an Oscar! One of the plays on 'Talent Nite"

Our theme was 'being more like Jesus' - it was a wonderful time to reflect and see what God has done so far - and what He has in store for us as His children. The very thought of us becoming more like Him is mind-boggling.

With all the hustle and bustle of doing things we forget the most important parts of life. To listen. To be. To allow God to speak.

This weekend has been one to remember. It took some getting there - but we left with a lot in our hearts.

Heading out for an 'Emmaus Walk' on Sunday morning

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