Monday, 11 October 2010

Living life abundantly...

There is only so much we can do in a camp. But then again - there is SO MUCH we can do in a camp.
you just can't argue with a view like this!

Getting away from the day-to-day struggle. Taking time to be quiet - to listen and to learn. Living together, eating together, playing together and praying together. 86 people. HIV positive and negative. Youngish and oldish. Rich and poor.

We were blessed to have old friends of Jeevan Sahara - Sam and Margaret Thomas come along with us.

Sam explored relationships with us. Looking at the giving Father heart of God through the story of the man with two sons. And helping us recognise our own 'younger brother' and 'older brother' lostness - and the 'foundness' that emenates from Father's embrace.

We explored the life of David - going through the terrible tragedy of the selfish decisions which lead to death in his family. Sam led us to see David's failures as a husband and a father - and recognise our own selves in his story. Oh that we will learn - and not go through those dark valleys. At the same time, we also looked at the way that David's heart was tender to God and open for change. We saw our own brokeness and the hope of real reconciliation.

The two days of the camp were chock-full of activity and joy. Its always great to sing songs of praise to our wonderful Creator and Redeemer!

The kids (and there were many) had a superb time with Peter and Daisy Chettiar and their team. They discovered the life of Ruth and Boaz through activities and games and songs. A major theme for them was on 'friendships' - with lots of activities around that too. These kids are full of energy - we saw plenty of in the frenetic way the carromed around the beautiful Satyagiri Retreat Centre. "Why walk when you can run?" seemed to be the kids unspoken but constantly implemented motto.

I have a feeling that the good Fathers who run the institution were slightly bemused but the noise levels (what is the fun with running without shouting?) - but they were too kind hearted to bring it up to our notice.

Sheba discussing the life of Ruth and Naomi with our ladies group

How do we live the abundant life - especially in the particular situations that we are facing? We used specific small groups to help unpack this. Sheba led a group of single ladies - all who have lost their husbands - through the amazing stories of Naomi and Ruth. As always - when you dig deep into something you are blessed as you are a blessed - which was Sheba's experience with the sessions she held with these dear ladies.

The camp was enriched by the new generation of young people. And they in turn were enriched by having John and Nalini Gabriel spend one on one and small group sessions with them.

For marrieds we had Sam and Margaret Thomas walking our couples through the practical ways that we can grow together, communicate, and forgive.

And it wasn't all serious stuff either - there was plenty of fun too with some hilarious games. Not surprisingly the loudest laughs were there when the couples competed with each other...
... or helped each other out - like the game where one of the partners had to walk on pieces of paper placed forward by the other.

In between so many conversations. Cups of tea. Meals shared together.
Late night talks in the rooms. Times spent together in prayer. Opportunities to be in community. To be in a place and a time of community.

All of this made possible through the hard work of the JSK team who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure everything clicked. Transport was organised. The food was served. The materials were ready. The many, many little details looked after. Kudos to the whole team!

Our only regrets: that some of the families we counted on to participate were unable to come at the last moment - and that our camp had an end!

We left the beauty of Igatpuri with memories...

There is only so much we can do in a camp. But then again - there is SO MUCH we can do in a camp.

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