Team Time, Joy, and Home
Meet our team! This past week we had "Team Time", an annual five-day retreat for the team to get away from the busy life at Bongolo to rest and recharge. We spent time in fellowship, worship, prayer, hearing from God's word, and discussing team strategy. We were blessed to have a team from Allegheny Center Alliance Church
(Pittsburgh) travel all the way to Gabon and join us and graciously serve us. Some of the highlights of the week:
- Getting to know team members on a deeper level
- Hearing from God on how we can serve with joy
- Learning more about our team mission and strategy for the next 5 years
- Playing crazy games including a scavenger hunt in the local town (Jeff's team won!)
- Sharing our life story with the rest of the team
- Eating some good food, of course!
The theme for the week was "Serving Christ with Joy as a Team." Pastor Blaine taught from the book of Philippians where Paul wrote of his continued joy despite his trials and struggles. He was able to be joyful by avoiding "joy stealers" and keeping "the main thing, the main thing"--proclaiming Christ and magnifying Him in all circumstances. What a blessing for us (Jeff and Amy) to have this time of teaching and bonding with our team just one month after our arrival. We are truly joyful to be on this wonderful, caring and Spirit-led team.
A little tired of living out of suitcases in a hotel room, during the last day of the retreat, we both mentioned how it will be good to return home. Yes, we each said "home". Little by little, our apartment at Bongolo is turning into our home. We still have things to unpack and pictures to hang on the walls, but it is now our home, not just a place we are visiting. Praise God for his goodness and thank you all for your prayers during our transition to life here.
"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ" - Philippians 3:7-8