You’ve probably never been to an area retreat like the one we’ll be hosting in Spain next week (May 22-29). So, I thought I’d give you an idea of how you can be praying:
1. Jet lag – many of the people who are coming to serve missionaries at this retreat are coming from the US. That’s an 8 hour time difference. So, we’ll have to get over jetlag in order to serve them well.
2. Rest & Relaxation – the point of an area retreat is for missionaries and their families to take a break from normal life and get some rest. That’s why these retreats take place at a nice resort. Pray that they might enjoy themselves and their much needed vacation. Pray that it might bring them closer as a family.
3. Spiritual Growth & Renewal – at the retreat, missionaries will hear God’s word from an American Pastor who has come just for that purpose – to facilitate their spiritual growth and renewal. They’ll be led in worship by people who have volunteered their time to come and be with them. Counselors will also come in to help them work through the issues they’re facing. We don’t want the youth to miss out, so we’re going to offer the same things for them. I’ll be preaching to the youth each night and Riva will offer formal counseling appointments every day. We have people coming with us who will be leading small groups and times of worship as well. One student told her parents that she has never grown more spiritually than during an area retreat, so please pray that God might fill these students with joy in the gospel and renewed energy for ministry as we minister to them.
4. Fellowship & Mutual Encouragement – no one knows what you’re going through except people who have been there. No one knows what it’s like, so it is a huge encouragment to be with other people who understand you and can encourage you. Missionary Kids need that too. No one knows what it’s like to be a perpetual outsider – to not fit in American culture, but not fit completely in their host culture either. No one knows what it’s like to have to leave your home and friends every four years to be paraded in front of a bunch of people you don’t know and sing songs in another language. No one knows what it’s like to feel pressure to have it all together so people will give your parents money – No one except people who have been there too. That’s why it’s so important for these kids to be together. Pray that the Lord might encourage them through fellowship and help them to find a place of belonging among other people just like themselves this week.