Members of our Global Outreach team along with Gina Roes, one of the counselors from LifeChange Christian Counseling Center, arrived in Poland on Sunday evening. We were met at the airport by the smiling faces of good friends Maui and Ewa Dwulat, Directors of ProeM Christian Ministries, and Daniel and Edyta Wawrzyniak who spent 9 months with us at Savannah Christian last year. We had a great time catching up and seeing the city of Warsaw that evening. It was chilly as we walked around downtown Warsaw, watching street performers and eating Polish street food (i.e. delicious baked goods….yum!). We were thankful after a long day of traveling to make it to ProeM’s campground in Zakościele, a small village about an hour and a half outside of Warsaw. It’s fitting for this place to be the setting of a retreat we call Refresh. As soon as we arrived a feeling of peace came over us; you could almost hear audible sighs of relief from the group. The campground itself is beautiful, set right next to a quickly flowing river with evidence of beavers working busily on its edges. Huge trees surround us and the air feels crisp and clean. God’s presence is felt strongly here – His comfort and peace feel especially tangible, His power is displayed in the beauty of this place and His joy is evident in the love that flows naturally from the people at ProeM.
Throughout Monday our partners arrived from all over the world: Ukraine, Greece, The Hills, India and Rwanda. During our gathering that evening one person described it as a “family reunion”. Many of us have spent time together in the US during Faith Promise at SCC over the years. It was exciting and encouraging to see everyone greet each other as old friends and begin developing new relationships. Yesterday and today we have spent time together getting to know one another better and hearing updates on the ministries we lead. Partners shared stories about everything from post-genocide prison ministry in Rwanda to a home for 50 children orphaned by persecution of the church in India. It’s incredible to hear how God is moving in powerful ways all over our world. As a church we feel amazingly blessed to support such gifted, passionate people doing effective, life-changing ministry with the Lord in countries many of us will never have the privilege to visit.
Yesterday and today the group spent time taking the Enneagram Test (a personality indicator). Gina has done a fantastic job of breaking down this test and how understanding the way God has uniquely designed each of us can dramatically affect how we are able to relate and grow in our relationship with Him and others. It’s a lot of fun to see the group grapple with these concepts and learn more about each other and the Lord. We are marveling at God’s creativity in how he has made each of us and called us uniquely to ministries that will best utilize the gifts and strengths He’s given us. Our hope for this week is that these dear friends and partners of ours will leave this place with souls that are truly Refreshed by the Spirit of God – that they will have gained greater insight into His great love and purpose for their lives.