Team Training Retreat

    It seems to be a recurring theme at present for me to say something about how hard it is to believe the speed at which the previous week has gone by, so here I am to say the same thing again!
    Just 1 Week ago I was in the kitchen at Isaiah 40 trying to prepare the first dinner for the Team Retreat while also answering 2 ringing cell phones and at least 10 other people all bombarding me with questions. 

Now here I am alone again back at home with Wil stretched out at my feet and Mandu happily curled up nearby. The 2 phones are still ringing but now it is with Team Leaders calling in from 5 different Provinces or with Clergy checking up on ETAs of said Leaders or family members looking for updates on the safety of their offspring. All of the latter being my “normal” for the next month or so! The past week went well, very well. The Lord blessed us in so many ways. Two of the biggest blessings were, firstly the decision by Josiah (who had just completed a week Leading one of the Training Teams) to step forward and offer himself to fill the urgent need for a fifth Team Leader. The second Blessing, was that my former secretary, Alana, who had arranged to be with us for 2 days in order to lead Workshops and help in other ways, was actually able to stay for the whole week and help with a million extra needs! On Thursday afternoon, as we prepared to serve an early dinner prior to the Commissioning Service both of us were commenting on just how smoothly the set-up for the Service had gone and wondered when the  “other shoe” would drop”! But no “other shoe” did drop! Of course there were a few glitches as the Service began, a forgotten Bible, the VERY late arrival of some visitors etc. but the  Service ran smoothly and we had an excellent turnout of families and friends to support the Teams. Our Worship Director, Tim, did an amazing job all week, and, as is usual at the Retreat, I found a new favourite song which I have been singing all the time!

    At the close of the Retreat everyone is encouraged to fill out an Evaluation Form then, this coming Wednesday, the core Staff will hold a debriefing meeting and review the evaluations as well as sharing our individual thoughts and reflections along with suggestions for improvements, where needed.
  At this point we are not in a position to know just how big a deficit we will incur for this Summer’s Ministry, due to having dropped to 5 Teams so “next year” is still a bit iffy but we are people who trust and hope so, God willing, we need to write down our suggestions for next year!
   I thought I would just include a few quotes from those Evaluations: –
“This past week has helped me grow in the Lord because before I guess I was kind of iffy about my relationship with God but the worship sessions helped me grow a lot in God. I feel more close to God than I did before this week.”
“ It was a blessing to spend time with other Christians of my age. Everyone was so approachable and I learned a lot from everyone.”
“ The hardest part for me is to say goodbye.”…
As you can see, our Team Members seem to have found the week to have been a special time, which is encouraging for all of us who try to make it just that.
   This afternoon, after tackling loads of laundry both at home and at Isaiah 40, I snatched a bit of time to see what has happened in the garden this week! 
      As a new week begins (Week 1 of Day Camps!!!) I  need to make up a menu for 10 on Wednesday (feeding the Montreal Team plus holding the Staff debriefing) meanwhile it is sort of nice to just make a “normal” sized recipe, instead of feeding 20+ 
   Tonight, given that there has not been much time for personal grocery shopping, I’m making …
            Tuna Panzanella
  • 1 Integrale Baguette, cubed                   
  • 1 6oz. tin tuna
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tart apple, finely chopped
  • 2/3-cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp. capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup chopped, toasted almonds or pecans
In a large serving bowl, combine all ingredients, let rest for 15 minutes then toss gently. Serves 3-4. As Week 1 of Day Camp begins I have already received a great photo of Lamb arriving in Edmonton so I think our fleecy friend will have lots to report on in our next Post!
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