The pastors look forward to these times away so much! They seem to get better each year and the pastors come hungry and ready to receive. We take our pastors and their wives away for 2 nights and 3 days! This year we had to do a “quick change of plans” as we could not get to the hotel that we had initially reserved; due to the collapse of a bridge. But a local hotel was extremely generous and matched my pricing and budget, even though their hotel rooms go for much more. It was closer to home, a new experience for everyone and enjoyed by all! The owner even gave us all an upgrade from normal rooms to master suites; an incredible blessing!
We left on Monday and it started by letting each couple fill a very large tote bag at our nearby grocery store. They were so excited to be able to pick out basic staples but also include some special treats! We then drove down the mountain and ate pizza at our mall’s food court; followed by a time to let every play some video games for a while. Most of these pastors come from humble backgrounds and never had a childhood that allowed for frivolous things and it is nice to see them get the chance to enjoy it.
We began our meetings on Monday night, all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning. There was some very practical teaching that encouraged, motivated, and challenged our pastors. There were some very precious times of worship and also some awesome Holy Spirit led personal ministry that greatly impacted everyone!
We gave lots of little gifts out and just enjoyed loving on them for 3 days! We had 3 ladies from the US come to be a support team to the retreat and they had prayer time with people and helped with the personal ministry. There was counselling time offered to the pastors and many took advantage of that. We had a couple from Chiquimula that were our speakers this year, so no translators were needed and the pastors really warmed up to them.
There was a craft time for the ladies, funny pictures taken of everyone, and many enjoyed playing Jenga for the first time. Lots of fellowship and relationship building amongst the pastors is another very important reason for us to offer these retreats. I ask the Lord every year to make the provision so that we can continue to offer these special times because I see just how much good they do!
Prayerfully consider if you can help us with our next retreat. The cost is about $5,000 to put on one but it is seed well planted! If we can set these pastors on fire and then send them back to their villages to win the people for Jesus….there is no better investment that you can make!
We had our annual Night of Lights on December 13, 2021. We hit record breaking numbers that attended, with just under 800 people in attendance. I think everyone was ready, after being shut up for the pandemic; to get out and enjoy a good family activity for the holidays. Upon entry everyone received a candy cane, a Christmas tract and a raffle ticket. Their tickets allowed drawing from a box which gave them the options of large, medium or small prizes/ OR a sad face which received nothing! Everyone enjoyed the 1000s of Christmas lights, laser lights and inflatables. There was a live Santa that kept very busy having pictures taken with everyone. We handed out 100s of gifts! At the end, we tossed out balls, candy, toothbrushes, sponges and other lightweight items into the crowd; which raised the level of excitement! A good time was had by all and is a way that we reach out to the local community during the Christmas season!