I really enjoyed our three-day-two night “Take Me Deeper” retreat at Jelai Highland Resort, Fraser’s Hill. The journey was a bit hard on us to and fro, there were quite a number of “casualties” when we were coming dowm (i.e. vomitting and dizzyness). But, overall this has been one of the most “restful” and “refreshing” (R & R right?) retreats I’ve been. Actually, this is the only second most R & R retreat. I’d like to add one more R – “Reflective”. Here are some noteworthy observations and things I enjoyed a lot.
1. There was no main theme “human” speaker. There were many speakers and listeners. And I trust the Holy Spirit worked through many of our words and generous sharing of lives. Five groups with about 6-7 people was just nice. The Facilitators did an excellent job creating space for “conversations” and I could over hear “dialogue” everywhere …. we gathered back to hear each other’s summaries and some enlightening thoughts popped up here and there.
2. The “scatterring” and “gathering” of individuals, groups and the whole retreat participants sounded like wonderful Rhythm of what Christian community was all about. We met in retreat groups (mixture of different people), we met as a whole (everybody comes together, we met as families or singles – some newly weds were separated for two nights (in our rooms), and we had time alone in Solitude … all under the presence of the Spirit who blows where he wills. Oh, before I forget .. a special gathering always happened at Room 201, with a game of “taboo”, laughter, noise, Maggi mee, potato chips! Then of course there we the little chats here and there, some serious, some not so serious. All in all, God was “moving” (i believe) in his own special way. This Vision can be tweaked into our daily life and the church life too.
3. A last minute Question and Answer time with Rev. Wolfgang and I was especially helpful for us to listen to concerns from the floor on “Guidance”, “spiritual direction” and even “prophecy”. Both of us I think liked the idea of responding to immediate questions while learning to make ourselves clearer. I’m thanksful there is still a place for us pastors-teachers to contribute and hopefully makes things clearer.
4. “Spontanous” Stuff … the “makan” (eating) times were especially good for talking and just being with one another. Miriam’s Birthday surprise was also great (BTW, so was the German-made cake!), then there was two jungle walks (i think), one official under the sunlight, one unofficial under the moon light (hmmm..), games of Pictionary (lots of noise here!) and Boggle (where Kok Yin is reigning champion no doubt!), I also discovered our resident Medicine woman Siew Poh who has fine tuned the art of dealing with “constipation” (wow!), great dancing by Ee Lyn and the gang …
5. People behind the scenes … I really appreciate Hoong Guit, Wai Kin, and Moh Foong, as well as anyone who made this retreat so relaxing for me especially because they just got everything settled. I trusted them (totally!) and I’m glad to see the results … yeah … yeah … no retreat, or camp is perfect. But this camp was a tremendous blessing for me, May Chin, Gareth and I believe for all … as we shouted in the retreat, “let everything that has breath? … PRAISE THE LORD!!!”
The weather was so cooling there, I loved it. Came back, phew! hot and the sun so bright and shining … well, I take it as a sign of God’s favor on us .. he makes his face SHINE upon us? 🙂