This past weekend we had our annual church retreat. It was our fifth church retreat and our second time having it in Nagybarca.
This retreat is one of my favorite events of the whole year, because we go away as a church and spend a weekend together, worshiping, studying the Bible and seeking the Lord, and being together in fellowship.
Our goal with these retreats is to draw closer to the Lord and closer to each other. We often worship together, but things like cooking together and playing sports together and having time to talk and hang out together are things which help build community.
This weekend, instead of inviting a guest speaker as we have in the past, we had some of the men from the church share on the topic of fellowship and community - how God's design for the church isn't that it be a club or a support group in which a bunch of individuals who follow him gather together occasionally to study the Bible and worship and then go our separate ways, but that rather God's design is to create a people for himself (Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 2:1-12, and many verses), a body. And therefore true fellowship (Gk: koinonia) is about community and about belonging to each other (Romans 12:5).
It was a blessing to see that message of community being worked out amongst us and people serving each other - watching each others' kids, taking turns cooking, cleaning, etc.
We also had a really blessed time of prayer together on Saturday night. I prayed for one young guy who afterward told me that in his entire life he had never prayed and had never been to church other than the one time he came to our youth group.
Nate also loved being at 'camp', and had a great time.
Last summer during the World Cup I told him about how soccer players fall down and pretend to get hurt, even when nothing has happened to them. Nate apparently took note of this, and his favorite game to play is that whenever we play soccer and the ball gets near him he pretends to fall down and get hurt.
It seems that he has really understood the most important aspect of soccer, and is potentially on his way to a successful career on the Italian national team!