Tuesday, September 15, 2009

mending disappointment... retreat offers hope to many

At staff orientation, director, Ken Norman, announced that VCS does not have the funds to provide the staff with a fall retreat.

Over the last several years, VCS staff has gathered at the Lindabrunn Sportschule for a restful and blessed weekend away. The retreat serves as a great way to connect with new staff, to laugh together and enjoy a weekend away from city life. Everyone sat disappointed, but Ken continued to explain that Barnabas International, an organization that provides pastoral care for missionaries offered to give us a two-day “retreat,” including food and a speaker at the Romanian Baptist Church just on the outskirts of Vienna.

So, Lareau Linquist and his wife Evie, founders of Barnabas, joined us this past weekend. Lareau encouraged us to find joy in “all things” from Romans 8. His words were quite applicable as many of our staff feel the burden of these things. Some with financial strain, marital strife, work-related stress, emotional baggage and lose of dear friends. I’m sure that you all can relate. Whether troubles- common things, hardship- long lasting difficulty, or famine/nakedness- going without, nothing can separate us from God’s love. God did not spare his own Son from tough stuff, and neither will he spare us. I looked around at cheeks wet with tears and praised God for working with eternal goals and for my VCS family ready to stand and support those in need.

Though we gave up a beautiful retreat center, we can see God moving and taking care of in his unique ways!

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