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Being Fed for the Journey: Team Thailand Retreat

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By Candice, worker in Thailand

The RMM Thailand team had a wonderful retreat this past weekend with visiting speakers Steve and Phyllis Swartz! Our theme was "journey" and we learned so much and each heard from God in unique ways. The Swartz's first took us through a "hero's journey" where we learned the steps of a disciple maker's journey looking at the parallel story of Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. We talked about our call to adventure, our big steps over the threshold from known to unknown, and the challenges and temptations that follow, eventually leading to death, resurrection, and finally reproduction. "Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over." What an encouragement to us! We understood again the importance of sticking with our adventure here and dying to self in order to produce fruit – to be patient in waiting for God to bring us a harvest in Thailand.

Steve and Phyllis also helped us stock a "toolkit" with new and fresh ways to study Bible stories. Some of those tools were numbers, type scenes, words, motifs, and story arc. We looked closely at two stories with similar type scenes of "trial in the wilderness" (Hagar and Ishmael/Abraham and Isaac). We learned how to dig deeper into the story to find God speaking on multiple levels. There were other interesting talks too: water for the journey (pouring out, sacrifice), “It was a wonderful time of being fed by God – a feast for our team!”together on the journey (encouraging words, hard relationships) and rest for the journey (listening, leaning, landing, limiting). We had lots of time for sharing our thoughts in small and big groups, thinking and praying and writing to Jesus, and reflecting on quotes and scriptures. It was a wonderful time of being fed by God – a feast for our team!

The weekend was a great bonding time as a team as well. We had a fun pizza party and late night talks in our hotel rooms. The kids enjoyed tons of snacks and special classes with the REACH teams. The Thailand and Indochina REACH teams had fun being reunited again for the weekend. We all especially loved Karly's minute-to-win-it games like stacking soda cans with raw spaghetti in the mouth and a blindfolded maze game. Steve and Phyllis also tested our teamwork with a survival game in which most of us died in the snow (we're in Bangkok, we don't know how to survive subzero temperatures!). We are so thankful for this chance for input and growth as a team. Thanks for your prayers for our work here!