Sheets, towels, mugs, Bible, notebook, clothes, snack food—the third week in October members of France VIE were checking off the list of things to stuff into their cars before they headed to the Chateau de Joudes in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. It was our second time to this medieval site situated in the Jura department and a five hour drive from the Paris region. We almost filled every room of the chateau and restored sheep farm with 34 missionaries, 18 kids and 9 staff workers. We were blessed by individuals like: Trudy, Kim, Chip and Ed preparing excellent meals, Alexandra, Kathrin, Terri and Lea creatively and tirelessly loving our children, Daniel, making sure all worked well, David and Steve teaching us how to apply the Gospel in our ministry teams, Emilie, instructing our kids how to participate in worship, Manu leading a fun game night and Michelle overseeing everything.
The purpose of a retreat is to take time to withdraw from the « battle » and to be in a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax. With 18 fun-loving children around it was difficult to find a quiet place on the grounds, but it certainly was a time for each of us to withdraw from our daily ministry tasks and re-evaluate what we hold to be most precious—our relationship with Christ and how His grace can change our lives. It was also a chance for us to experience Christian community with workers who have been laboring in France for over 30 years to those who’ve been here three months. It was a chance to renew our commitment to bring the Gospel within reach of lost people everywhere we go. And the next retreat? The kids would be ready for that to happen tomorrow, however, the reality is we are planning to join our larger World Team Europe Family in Germany in August 2019.
~ article by Carolyn