Somewhere towards the end of March 2017, I received an invite from a community brother to be a part of the CFCI Full-Timers and Mission Volunteers Retreat, that was to take place in May 2017. This really excited me, as it was an opportunity to meet and interact with not only the full-timers and mission volunteers, but our country servant, too. Being young and without any mission experience whatsoever, I was quite surprised at this invitation. However, I believe God led me to this retreat which turned out to be an absolute blessing.
Having arrived at the venue the night before the retreat, I was able to meet and interact with the full-timers. They were from different states and backgrounds, yet got along so fabulously well with each other. Their fellowship and community spirit amazed me so much that the CFCI community felt more like a family rather than a community, and this is what makes life in this community such a joy.
The retreat was a real eye-opener for me. God opened my eyes to many areas which I was absolutely unaware of. He made me realise that I needed to improve my relationships with fellow community members. The Reconciliation Activity, wherein we had to reconcile with our brothers and sisters in the Community, helped me sort out misunderstandings and mend broken relationships.
“Improve your relationships with your community people, Improve your relationship with God”.
Through this session, God drew my attention to another aspect of my life which needed change- ‘Pride‘. Being in the community for almost two years, I was very involved in helping out and doing things for my chapter, but as my service to the community increased, so did my pride. I wanted everything to be my way and would discount other people’s opinions. This retreat taught me the importance of being humble and submissive, through which I could truly love and serve my fellow brothers and sisters. Moreover, I learnt that we are called not to exercise power, but to be servants and serve one another.
During one of the sessions, a question was put forth to us:
“Why are we in this community?“
This got me thinking, and I was amazed by the answer
“We are here to get to heaven.”
Sometimes, our entire focus is on serving others and our own personal spiritual growth takes a backseat.
My interaction with the full-timers during the course of this retreat taught me so much. Some of them had health issues, others had financial issues, sometimes language was a barrier, or sometimes the places they served, had no proper facilities, yet God was working in their lives, guiding them, and they would praise God for everything. Their testimonies have inspired me, and I feel blessed that I got to know them.
This retreat has rekindled a fire in me to serve God and His people in every little way that I can and has helped me focus more on my spiritual journey. Indeed, I am so blessed to be part of this community!