For me, I think the best way to sum up our second Rejoice Project retreat is through Ephesians 2:20-21:
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
As we spent 4 days together, I watched God do immeasurably more in each one of the Rejoice team leader's lives. Diving deep into God’s truth together through Andy Stanley's “Simple” series, God began to break through the chains of religion. They began to find freedom in the simplicity of the gospel. I watched them challenge each other, ask the hard questions, and begin to see God in a much simpler and more intimate way!
In the team building activities, I witnessed the Rejoice team leaders work together and explore how to make “impossible” tasks possible! At the start of each activity, I would hear them say that it was not going to happen, but I watched them, time after time, find solutions to the tasks together. These activities helped us illustrate a point - they were now able to look at the “impossibilities” they see in their communities, children, and Rejoice teams and see how God could use them to make those things possible!
During our teaching time, we were able to model and let them experience new ways of effectively communicating God’s truth to each child's level of understanding. At one point, we had them go outside and gathered natural materials (rocks, sticks, etc) to make a butterfly on a piece of paper. I watched some amazingly unique butterflies come out of that activity using such simple materials! It was awesome to witness their eyes open to the abundance of creativity around them through the natural resources God has given them in their communities, and how they can use those to effectively teach children about Him.
In all, I watched a group of 16 people from 6 different villages and 5 different tribes come together - not giving a thought to their differences culturally. They simply came together and gave God total control and immeasurably more happened! God received all the glory and I pray that His glory continue to be displayed through all of these leaders as they awaken, disciple, and empower the next generation to know Jesus and make Him known!
Jon - Community Relations Manager with Choose to Invest