Monday, September 28, 2009

Sandi's Snippets

Today is a special day. Why should that be so? Not just because I find myself on the beautiful island of Barbados, although that would in itself lend to it being a special day. But we all know that after a while, our surroundings normalize and it can be easy to take things for granted. What makes this day special is that we have completed all three of our retreats; we've become friends with 23 new people and we did that by listening to their in depth stories. One by one, they told us about their lives, their joys, their heartaches, their achievements, their losses, and through it all, there was the "to be marveled at" overall story of how God has been in it all. The Master Storyteller has interwoven all the events of their lives and caused it all to work together for good. Just like God, isn't it?

We ate meals together, we laughed together, sometimes there were tears and often there was wonder. How did it happen?How is it that we are all in the same place at the same time?
We are running three Waves simultaneously: Monday night, Tuesday morning and Wednesday night and so we had three separate retreats. Retreat No. 1 was called Free To Be Me; No. 2 "That I May Receive"; No. 3 "Into The Mystery".

We said goodbye to Herb Sims, the pastor of Grace Life Church along with Whitney Houston yesterday. Today Samantha Morrow returns to Woodstock and that leaves Laurie, Retha, Barry and me in the house. We will be doing most of the teaching which will require time for preparation. And we will be coaching and mentoring. We plan to make sure that we have one day a week when we totally chill and enjoy our gorgeous surroundings.

Barbados Grace Fellowship have provided us with a very comfortable house which has a little plunge pool out back. They have rented a car for our use and are making sure that we have a food budget. We are so encouraged by how well they are taking care of us.

Tonight we have our first class with Wave No.1 and we are excited to anticipate a good time of teaching and dialogue. It is an immense privilege to witness the Holy Spirit at work in our midst.

Please continue to pray for us and, if you have access to Face Book, you can see more pictures that help tell our Barbados Story.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Still Amazed...

Sorry I've not been able to write for a few days, but, it's not been in the schedule or the focus...but, this morning I'm feeling a little inspiration so here goes...

After the first retreat we almost immediately moved in the the second. This Wave is a smaller, co-ed group, and included a couple of people I didn't know too well. It was nice to not have such a large number as it made for longer conversations and a much more relaxed schedule. And, as you would imagine, we were not disappointed and in fact, wonderfully amazed!

These retreats are not easy to explain. Even those who are about to attend would tell you most times, "I had no idea what I was going into..." And this time was no different. One participant said after it was all over, "I did NOT want to come but I wouldn't have traded this for anything. I have known these people for years, but now I feel connected to them in a way I had no idea I could be." And so the story goes. At the end of the weekend we were all pretty had been several intense days in a row. But, we were all so content and in awe of what our time had been.

Tuesday morning we had our first regular meeting with the ladies Wave. We had a wonderful time of sharing and talking together about life in Jesus and the deception in which we often live and how that affects our relationship with God, ourselves, and others. As we sat together and I heard the hearts of these beautiful women share so openly, my heart welled up with thanksgiving and the tears flowed from my eyes. I'm still amazed that we are here and that I get to be a part of this truly miraculous journey.

We've had a little time to relax in between another Atlanta-ite (Whitney) arriving to be a part of the final retreat, still settling into the new home and surroundings and the many hours of deep conversation (most of you know how Herb's mind never stops!). Yesteday we finally had a full day off with no appointments, classes or meetings (apart from the "in the plunge pool" discussion on Galatians where Herb literally read from his Bible while standing in the pool-gotta love that picture!). We all got a bit fried at the beach (the sun is quite intense here) but enjoyed just "being" for a day. Today, Whitney, Sam and Retha are being treated to a day trip around the island by one of the ladies from the Wave (Vicky). So...all in all, life is good.

Tomorrow begins Wave #3 and retreate #3 in two weeks. We can't wait to see what this weekend will hold. I will come back after the finish to tell you all about it!! Till then...keep checking back for other posts...I'm encouraging the rest of the team to get on here and tell you of their experiences.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Retreat Numero Uno

Here are a few pictures of these lovely women from this past weekend! I hope you enjoy their faces as much as I did. 

The Wave #2
(left to right top: Debbie, Retha, Heather, Laurie, Emma, Linda 
bottom: me, Emily, Heather C, Sandy, Cathy, Nicole, Sandi G.)

Enjoying each others company

Sharing their Title Pages
(left to right: Heather C, Cathy)

More to come!

The Reality of the Impossible…

I’m sitting on the back veranda of my new home in Barbados…did I really say that? My new home??? Well, at least for the next 6+ months, this will be that for me. It sounds very strange…but it’s also unbelievably exciting.

It’s early in the morning and I’m awake far too early for about the 5th day in a row. I am adjusting: new bed, VERY early sunrise, sharing a room, etc. I will find my routine soon, I’m sure.

The Wave team (Barry & Sandi Grecu, Retha Badenhorst, & myself) arrived here last Saturday afternoon. We had about 2 days to begin settling into our new home and preparing for our first of three retreats for the 25 Saints who’ve said they wanted to participate in this miracle. Yes, believe me, it’s a miracle. There’s so many evidences of that I can barely begin to write them down, but here’s a few:
*Divine connection with Heather (church leader) 18 months ago
*The provision for a team of us to come here early this year for two weeks
*The passion and hunger that came out of that time for a “movement” to happen
amongst the
*The plans coming together in just 6 months for us to be here to introduce “The Wave” and
journey with them through it
*Literally miraculous provision for every detail
*25 people who want to know Jesus as LIFE itself and find it in community

We began Tuesday with 9 women (and the team plus Sammy Morrow who has joined us for these first 2 weeks). Our theme for this group is "Free to be Me!" and for each one of us, it will be amazing to watch us become more aware of just how free we really are. From the start we found ourselves enjoying the beauty of these ladies, inside and out. And as we began the journey of hearing each one of their stories, we couldn’t help but love them more! And, of course, we saw Jesus alive and well and living in each one of them and their journey so far!

Today, we do it all over again with another 7 men and women. The theme for this group is "That I May Receive." We will be excited to see just what Father has in store in drawing us to a place of receiving of His Life. Won't you pray with us for all that He desires for us? We are confident that He will be faithful to do more than we can even begin to imagine.

So...that's all for now...I'll be back again after the weekend to update you from here...