Jesus once said to His disciples, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). A few weeks ago, our pastoral workers did take a rare opportunity to come apart, for study, meditation and prayer at our first ever AUC workers’ retreat. At a conference centre in the Blue Mountains, surrounded by God’s beautiful handiwork, we had the chance to have heart to heart talks and deepen our relationship with God, and strengthen our commitment to serve the people and each other.
Highlights included the nature walks over and around the escarpment, with magnificent panoramic views, cliffs and waterfalls among the scenery. We also enjoyed preparing our meals together, and practicing a few musical items.
The most precious experience, though, was the sharing time on the last evening together. Many commented that it must have been a little bit like the experience of the disciples in the upper room as they prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Hearts were drawn closer, confessions were made, heartfelt prayers were offered, and we enjoyed a special season of refreshing.
This blessed experience proved that coming apart is not a waste of time, but that God’s people should do more of this, especially in view of the times in which we live.