Back in February we took a team retreat out to the Romanian countryside, which I wrote about here and here. As I was there the second time, in early fall as opposed to smack in the middle of winter, I was shocked at how different it looked. Looking back at the older posts was another reminder of how drastically the landscape alters from fall to winter. Not only was there no snow this time around, but flowers abounded. I took many pictures, as the colors were so brilliant!
We walked from the train station to the Bed and Breakfast (not really called that, but for simplicity's sake) where we were staying, about an hour walk, though it turned into six hours with frequent stops for adventures with the kids and a leisurely lunch. Along the way we were yet again reminded of the simplicity and beauty of country living:
No Horse Carts Here!
We spent time outdoors with light jackets, hiking, playing with adorable puppies nearby, and just soaking up God's beautiful creation!
It wasn't all fun and games however (though that stuff makes for better pictures!). In addition to a retreat from the city and a chance to get to know one another as a new team, we spent a great deal of time in prayer and planning for this new (academic) year. Casting a vision for our baby international church. Praying for students. Discussing what should stay/go/change. Brainstorming. Thinking of ways to enable people to serve in the church. Talking about our roles. It was all very encouraging and exciting AND sobering, as we see how huge a responsibility it is to be serving in full-time ministry, discipling others, and basically pointing people to Christ. It is wonderful to know that we are imperfect and incapable of doing this apart from God working through us, because then we can rest in and rely on Him and not ourselves. Where we are weak, He is strong. We don't have any fancy programs, marketing strategies, or bells and whistles. We just teach people about Jesus, His death on the cross, and resurrection, through which we can have eternal life because Jesus' death bridges the infinite gap between ourselves and God caused by our sin. We teach the Word of God and encourage people to grow grow grow in Him. And by His grace, He will grow and strength this little church. I am thankful to be a part of this work.