Dialect Church leaders and volunteers recharge in Pulai Springs Resort, Johor, Malaysia.
Contributed By Alyssa Sok
From Nov. 4 to 6, the staff and volunteers of CHC’s Dialect Church, together with their families, headed to Johor Bahru for a much-anticipated retreat.
The venue was Pulai Springs Resort, an award-winning golf haven equipped with a myriad of facilities: pools, Jacuzzis, a gymnasium, a cineplex, a kid’s club, steam and sauna rooms, tennis, table-tennis, squash courts and the famed Pulai Spa. The group was housed in a series of well-appointed three-bedroom suites.
The group members serve together every Sunday during Dialect Church services, but this retreat took relationships a step further—spending time together at this retreat encouraged a deeper level of understanding and bonding among members.
Apart from all the much-deserved rest and relaxation, the retreat focused on three more “R”s that are crucial to the Dialect Church’s continued effectiveness.
The retreat provided a time of team-building among the volunteers, through games and activities that underscored a greater knowledge about each other, and a deeper relationship. There were opportunities to serve one another during meal times and during planning meetings. After all the organized activities, there was also plenty of time for in-depth sharing and late night chats with one another. These precious moments of forging deep friendships among co-laborers greatly convicted and encouraged every person as they were reminded to “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Rom 12:10).
Possibly the highlight of the retreat were the times of devotion every morning and evening, which brought a refreshing to each person’s spirit. Worship was simple—just a guitar and familiar worship songs—but powerful, as the presence of God was undoubtedly in every single meeting. Words that brought encouragement, healing, conviction and empowerment were spoken each day. One of the best outcomes of the retreat was seeing every member grow closer and deeper in their walk with God.
|CN PHOTOS: Jeffrey Tan
Emily Loo, a Dialect Church volunteer, explained the importance of these devotions. “We do not want to just come for a normal retreat, but to have everyone bring something back with them!”
Having a retreat near the end of the year also allowed for a good time to reflect and to plan for the year ahead. With the need for every staff member and volunteer to work toward a common vision and purpose according to similar values, it was important to review and reflect on what had been accomplished in 2010, and to birth a new vision for 2011. This helped everyone reposition themselves for greater things in the year ahead.
Maria Tok, zone supervisor for Dialect Church explained: “Our primary purpose for this trip is bonding. Many of us are glad to have time away from the busy life in Singapore, and just enjoy each other’s companionship. The morning and night devotions were the highlights—we looked forward to the Word which different senior leaders shared. This trip has been a great time renewing our love for one another and our passion for God.”
It was evident from all the Facebook messages and status updates that this short retreat blessed every attendee, and placed something precious in each one’s hearts: a reminder of God’s unfailing faithfulness and abounding grace.