The embers in the fire pit were mesmerising – we stared for quite some time contemplating their significance in what we had just experienced. A releasing. A casting off of the chains that bind us. As we physically watched the things that hold us back disintegrate into ash, spiritually freedom was given in exchange. And God did what had just been sung over us and made beautiful things out of dust.
This was, for everyone present, the highlight of our time together. As we crowded around the campfire on the Saturday night of retreat, we reflected back on all that we had experienced earlier that day. The unpacking of the concept of faith as understood by the Hebrews (who have nine versions for the word faith), learning the lessons outlined for us by the Giants of Faith in the Bible from Jonah, David and Moses, and sharing in testimonies that displayed real, raw and vulnerable faith.
On Sunday we spent time unpacking our role, as a young adults community, in creating and crafting the culture of our church and debriefing our time together in small groups. The sweetest of moments, though, were when everyone was leaving. Those who had arrived unsure and nervous, left feeling connected and encouraged. Those worn-out and heart-weary found rest and kindness in those around them. All of us were encouraged to not hold back our faith from where God has sent us. Above everything, we left having accomplished what we set out to achieve – that we wouldn’t leave this retreat the same as when we arrived.