Thursday, September 25, 2008

NLCF Fall Retreat



NLCF Fall Retreat, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
This past weekend, a handful of us from chestnut ridge church traveled down to Blacksburg, VA to participate in the fall retreat of our sister church, New Life Campus Fellowship or NLCF.

For me, it was awesome to finally bring to fruition in some small way a goal that we have been striving toward for at least four years. We wanted to have some type of joint fall retreat experience, and every year, something would get in the way with scheduling and timing, but this year, a handful of us could make the trip and join with our sister church.

I have had the pleasure of working with a number of the staff and students at NLCF for many years through programs like GCM's summer Leadership Training Program. These people have become a sort of extended family for me, and as family often does, they went out of their way to make our group feel welcome and a part of things.

Dave and Jeanette, pictured above, have been serving with GCM all over the world for many years. They are great friends, and as always, my time with them was a very encouraging time of sharing ideas and stories.

It was cool to see what another campus does for their fall retreat, and it was cool to experience blacksburg, and the great ministry that is there.

While we were there, we visited the memorial from the shooting that took place on April 16, 2007. It's easy to have things out of sight and mind, and to forget. The students and staff of VT won't forget though, and as we stood at the memorial, they began to share their stories. In our journey of a few hours travel, we had been given the privilege of carving out a space for them to process, and to remember the events of a few months ago.

I think that's part of the beauty of the body of Christ. We carry each other--we carve out space for each other. We end up both blessing and being blessed.

I could go on and on about the weekend, and the time we spent together, but I wont. I could talk about the incredible conversations four of us had as we made the drive to and from Blacksburg, but I wont--at least not now.

I'll leave you with this thought. WIll you make yourself available to people? Will you let them bless you? Will you be a blessing to others? Too much of our lives we spend in quiet isolation. Because of our isolation we miss out on soooo much!!! I'm not saying you have to drive to a faraway town, or travel around the world, but I think it behooves us to live beyond our own little bubbles of comforts--step out and see what happens--you won't be the same!

1 comment:

steve and amy said...

Hey Billy,

I got your text about hanging out at Cabo's. I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you. Amy and I were in Radford hanging out with her brother & sister-in-law, and another one of her sisters. I'm bummed we didn't get to spend more time with you all. Perhaps we can make a trip up to visit you all sometime. Either way, it was so good to see you all!

~Steve