Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
This was the theme of the 23rd annual MEANS Retreat. There were around 35 attendees at the retreat held in Buchanan, Michigan at the Life Action Family Camp. The guest speaker this year was Pastor Godfrey Serfino from Ebenezer Christian Reform Church in Bacolod City, Philippines. He spoke on the theme and challenged us to live according to Micah’s charge to the Israelites during a time of great sin. We were also challenged by a time of small group discussions as well as personal reflection after our sessions with Pastor Godfrey. After our last session there was a time to meditate on a personal declaration based on the retreat’s theme. When it came time to share, it was evident how the Holy Spirit impressed upon each individual’s heart on how to apply what we learned. It was a moving experience.
One of Pastor Godfrey’s friends was able to join the retreat and, being new to a MEANS event, had a few questions for the group during a business meeting. It was a good time for the volunteers to review MEANS’ background, purposes, and procedures among other things.
The board met with Jim de Mol, MEANS treasurer, based in Dili, East Timor via teleconference. They talked about strategic plans for 5 years and leadership succession.
We got to know Bong Hontanosas a little better through a light-hearted game of trivia and an interview. Who would’ve thought that if it weren’t for his interest in Lea, he wouldn’t be volunteering at MEANS?
We also got to recognize and appreciate our volunteers of the year, Ken and Christine Borromeo as well as their wonderful daughters, Katie and Anna. Ken and Christine have been faithfully volunteering with MEANS for over 20 years! Their work with MEANS is so integral! Thank you, Ken and Christine, Katie and Anna, for your dedication and hard work!
The retreat venue was new this year, and there was some free time to enjoy the surroundings and experience family togetherness in three generations—3 grandmas, parents, singles, the youth, and kids. Some went canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boating. There was a beachfront where the men and women gathered to fellowship. The children (and adults!) enjoyed playing carpet ball as well as the playground.
The hope is that all who attended were re-energized, refreshed, reinvigorated and recharged.
In August we asked for prayer for the MEANS retreat. Reflections from several retreat attendees demonstrate how some of those prayers were answered. . .
The retreat experience made him think about God’s purpose for him and he encouraged his mom to “do more” for God through MEANS. – MEANS volunteer
I was really blessed by the retreat. I have made some personal resolutions such as improving my participation in MEANS as a board member. Thank you for giving me the opportunity and the privilege to serve Him thru MEANS.—Board Member
What a wonderful time we had the Filipino way. I felt like an old “stick in the mud” as they were so animated in everything they did, but I also felt so much like one of the group even though I was just there for a couple of days and they were friends for many years. I have been teasing Pastor Godfrey about his sermons (3 on 1 verse, longest I have ever heard references to every verse in the Bible, etc) but he really is a very good preacher and does not interject his own opinions into it, but sticks with the gospel message. I realized now that he is a pastor of quality that I have heard here, but he also a good friend and equal to me.—1st time retreat attendee
I came home with an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness—rejoicing in His greatness and sovereignty. Once again God gave me/us this experience to see that His power is made perfect in my weakness. The worn out keys on that piano will forever reminds me how God can work in my imperfection.—Board Member