We left off yesterday with pictures from the reenactment of the story of Esther by the dorm groups. Here’s what the rest of the weekend was like, told mostly through pictures since even words are sometimes too wordy.
* Prayer Groups. The next word in our STAR acronym revealed: transparent. Christy’s story – fourteen, redeemed, and transparent – from New York City. His redemption brought to life in our own.** The songs of saints being sung. Worshiping the One who brought it all to be.*
* The amazing kitchen crew with their gumption, their spirit, their homemade hamburger buns, and their energy. Bread for our bellies. Much sacrifice of time, talent and organization…the body of Christ being bread as the cooks physically gave of themselves to nourish others. *
* A girls’ retreat needs downtime…to process and sift through your heart, play with hair, pop balloons, laugh wild and free. Time to reach, touch, create.*
* An older lady, Helen, shares about authenticity (the “a” in our acronym). The room is so quiet, we are all spellbound. The older teaching the younger, the presence of God’s Spirit moving in our group.*
* Workshops. Making t-shirt scarves, baking rolls and brownies, learning basic music theory, natural facials, and the art of photography. Sharing skills, equipping with practical knowledge, passing on a vision to grow and shine.*
* The largest ice cream buffet I have ever seen. Late night girls talent show. More hair-dos. Laughter. Enjoying the beautiful life we have all been given. The glory of God is man fully alive.*
* The powerful testimony of Rosemary, a woman transformed by the Almighty God. Contagious passion. Heartfelt challenge. Jesus meets with us yet again.*
* Last-minute photo shoot in front of the main building for Light of Christ Ministries. We hug, we snap photos, we laugh, we live the last moments full.*
February 1-3, STAR Retreat 2013 has come and gone, and we don’t just remember the glory of that God-blessed weekend, we live it. I see it in Megan and Aubrey, who left the weekend different than when they came, the glory of God moving in their souls. The glory of God coming more fully alive in all of us.
Yes, that’s right. Some of us spent two hours into the wee hours of the morning, counseling and praying with Megan Saturday night of the retreat. She comes to church every Sunday morning and reads her Bible now. She is genuinely reaching for more and seeking God. Aubrey confessed Christ to be Lord the Sunday night we returned. She hasn’t stopped smiling since. Her eyes shine with a new Light.
Send up a thousand balloons. Throw your head back and laugh. Hug someone today. Breathe deeply and thank God for breath. Color the walls with love. Jesus is alive and He is mighty to save. Our God changes everything.
[The bottom pictures unfortunately don’t include everyone who was part of the weekend since some people had to leave early.]