Here in JCFN, we build networks with other organizations while following up with returnees from all over the world. The other day, we received a report about the one-night retreat put on by ERF (European Returnee’s Fellowship). Please use this opportunity to remember and pray for the returnees from Europe.
ERF One-Night Retreat 2018 – A Report of Thankfulness
Grace Gospel Christ Church – Hirotaka Nagai
This year, November 23-24, thanks to the support of Japanese Outreach, ERF held this one-night retreat for the second time in the same venue as last year in Karuizawa.
We dropped off our belongings and together sat down before Jesus and dove straight into the Word, as was our intent for the program. Through the verse Psalm 27:4 (Dwelling in the house of the Lord), which was the theme for this retreat, and through the leadership of the messenger, pastor Naomi Yoshikawa, all the participants did their best to meditate on the Word together. We read scripture out loud, read again and again until we narrowed down the verses that our hearts would naturally stop on, and contemplated those words in our hearts. Many people were very pleasantly surprised, having meditated like this for the first time.
The thing I personally remembered most from this retreat was the importance of “consciously setting aside time with God.” I discovered this new truth through meditating over the Word.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, (Psalm 27:4)
It was there that I once again vowed to make God number one in my life, no matter how busy I get, and to gaze upon God and walk with Him as a member of His family, as a someone dwelling in His house.
Also, at this year’s retreat, we saw returnee brothers and sisters from Europe, brothers and sisters that came because of flyers we handed out during the retreat (“Europe Kirisuto-sha no Tsudoi”) this summer in Edinburgh in Scotland, as well as people we met at GRC in May of this year. We were very happy to see that we were connected to the whole world, not just Europe.
We had attendees from far-away Tottori, mid-distance Kansai, and visitors from nearby Karuizawa. Our 38 attendees came from many backgrounds, not just Europe, and we had a great time encouraging each other during fellowship. Only thanks to all your numerous prayers did this retreat go off without a hitch!