Friday, October 25, 2013

GEM France Retreat

Ahhh, the joy of being in the Alps! And not just because my hair behaves perfectly in the dry mountain air. No, our time away was fun-filled and inspirational to boot. We are blessed to be a part of an amazing group of GEM missionaries and the few times a year that we all get to together are always rich.


At the camp, we are spoiled by good food--that we don't have to plan or make or clean up! We are also spoiled by field leaders who raise special funds for the retreat so that it barely costs anything for our entire family to go! But best of all, the GEM France retreat is always a safe place. Some of our colleagues are going through rough times with ministry or family. When we get together, they can share from their hearts, be refreshed, and find encouragement. Others come with great joy and enthusiasm for how God is working among and through them. These people bring energy and hope into the mix. Some come weary; they find rest. Some come thirsty; they are quenched. Some come  reluctantly; even they leave with unexpected blessings.

This  time I was especially blessed by my GEM family because they gave Graham the opportunity to lead worship for the first time in his life. He's helped us lead in the past, but this time he was the boss. He selected the music, called the rehearsals, and did all the praying and talking. Graham is a gifted musician and a natural leader, but he still felt nervous and really wanted to do well. I am so thankful for how our teammates welcomed and blessed his efforts. Some are, you know, not exactly Spring Chickens. Yet, they sang Skillet and Jesus Culture and Flyleaf music as if they loved it. They worshiped, whether or not they liked the genre. And yes, I was very proud. Graham trusted in the Lord's leading, stepped out in faith, and saw God work through him. 

Here's a sign that we've been in France for a while: we went to the Alps and didn't bother to take a single photo! All photos used here were taken by a new teammate, Jordan Egli. He's an awesome photographer. Thanks, Jordan!

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