lighthouse went away for its annual retreat, april 30-may 2. this year, the theme was healing and wholeness. dr. michael tso from his mansion ministries came and did an excellent job of teaching the scriptures and challenging us to depth and vulnerability in our lives with God and one another. his messages from luke 18-19 can be found (under the category menu, select 2010 lighthouse retreat) here -- well worth a listen. we also had a sober reminder of the reality of spiritual warfare toward the end of the retreat when a young woman exhibited signs of being attacked by an evil spirit. she continues to receive help and seems to be improving, but we would appreciate your prayers for her and for our entire congregation, as i think this was a wake up call to many about the seriousness of our discipleship and our constant need for the presence and power of God's Spirit.
in the middle of the month, m and i had the privilege of traveling to germany for a week to celebrate the wedding of friend and former mcgill international student m. in addition to celebrating the civil and church weddings (in frankfurt and kassel respectively), we enjoyed the hospitality of hosts h and b, with whom we spent some of the time communicating in spanish(!); their english was pretty good, but they had also spent a decade in mexico when h was working for volkwagen, so they are fluent in spanish. we also had a chance to get to know the family and friends of a and m, which was really delightful. every person we met was pretty awesome, which says something about both them and a and m. in the process, we learned a couple of things: a) the germans really like to walk; b) they also like to eat cake. i don't think i've had as much cake in the rest of my life combined as we had in that single week! (photo at right is mostly m and a's friends, who went on a tour of kassel with grandpa).
to top off a great week, we had the privilege of spending our last night in germany with another international friend from those montreal years, e from singapore, who changed her travel plans to make it possible for us to have that evening together. what a gift and encouragement that night was -- sharing our lives, doing a little sightseeing in frankfurt, sampling some delicious german cuisine, and praying together that evening. God is so generous with us -- the joy of friendships new and old, the reminders of the impact of our previous ministry, even the gift of the airfare for the trip itself. our hearts were overflowing with praise and gratitude!
m and e, waiting for sausages - our hobbit-style 'first dinner' of the night