I'm going to divide this post into two... Part 1 will simply say what happened and part 2 will explain what I felt about it. This retreat was different in the way that it made me think and made me come to some conclusions which I never have before!!!
I took the day off on Friday the 17th because I knew that I would need to pack and have a million last minute things to do before leaving. I am so glad that I did! I got to sleep in a little (until 9), got to go shopping, got my nails done, packed, and did some last minute paperwork... I felt so relaxed and at ease so that definetly set the mood for the rest of the day!
Our bus showed up at 3:30 and luckily we had no problems with people running late (well, maybe a just a couple), and everyone paid their donation with no problems at all... We departed at a decent time and even had a couple guests with us, Raul and Chivi who I made fun of the entire weekend for being free loaders hahahaa). We got lost on the road for about an HOUR which completely delayed my plan for showing up at 7, so we didn't arrive at the camp until about 8:30 :( . Luckily the service got pushed back to 11 so we did not miss that!
The camp was not so nice :( I expected it to be different than what we are used to but some things I did not expect, like no staff to take out trash, no toilet paper, no SOAP! Bad food, small space, very small and uncomfortable beds and rooms. Still, all of these incommodities were no comparison to the big blessings we recieved this weekend :)
Friday's service was just a short worship session and a reminder of the rules. Our singing group stayed to practice that night and didn't go to our rooms till about 2:30am.... Which was incredibly late considering the fact we were to be up at 5am the next day! I was a little upset at this point because I did not like the way the michs and instruments sounded (bad sound system, even though I know NOTHING about this kind of stuff, I could tell cause my throat was KILLING me for having to shout into the mich in order for my voice to be audible) but I later realized that was something that was out of my control or anyone else's so I decided to forget about that and just enjoy worshipping and singing to my Lord :)
I took a shower as soon as I got back to my room cause there was no way I would be up early enough to take one the next day. Surprisingly I didn't feel THAT bad for only 2 hours of sleep, so we all got ready for the 6am service, which was really nice :) Sadly I slept through alot of the message but in the times I was awake I took some notes and God really spoke to me through it. The singing was awesome like always and Greta took a part and I was amazed at how many people worshipped along with her (something she mentioned on the bus that was her dream).
Breakfast was DISGUSTING. I need to say no more. :(
The rest of the day was incredibly hectic... something I did like was that they gave us a free camp tshirt this year (first time ever!), and we all wore it for the group pic... :) For the next service Greta, Jenn, Nessa and I sang the devotional, which we had practiced for a couple times, but got completely changed around because some of the songs we had picked had been sung already. That change was a little stressful for me because I was a little unsure of what to do, but thankfully it went well. I thought it would have been better, but it was nice :) Singing with these girls is always a blessing and I am glad God has given me the opportunity to participate in something like this!
After this were conferences, which I had to miss one in order to be able to shower and get to practice for the night service devotional! But I really enjoyed the one I got to attend, and the altar call was just beyond amazing. So many people passed up and reconciled their lives to God, and I could honestly say we could feel God's presence in that place.
The night service came (the "BIG ONE") and we did our thing... 1 1/2 months of practice was finally being put to the test!!! I think we did well... We let ourselves be guided by God and although we didn't sing all the songs we had rehearsed I know that we did what was meant to be done. It was an awesome experience and I really hope I get to do it again. This service was filled with many different and new things, like pantomimes and worship, and I really felt like my "true-worshipper" side came out!!! I sang and sang like if no one was around, and that's always an amazing feeling! And the message spoke to me straight out like no other message has before, but that's for my other post ;)
We got to mingle for a while afterwards (usually camp rules are strict and we can't do this) so we didn't go to bed until about 3 again. Since the food was so bad my sweet mother sent us a cooler filled with PUPUSAS!!! It was the best food I have ever eaten!!! I was starving hahaha... so at night we ate and talked and off to bed for another (semi)early day.
Sunday came along, the last day of the retreat, and we all decided to sleep in and skip breakfast. I was glad to be going home to a clean room and real food, lol. Worship was awesome and we didn't get to stay through the entire service since it ran late and our bus arrived. So we had to say our good byes and didn't even get to hear the message :(
And of course, as always, the grand finale is the service on Sunday night at the local churches. I really enjoyed it because I felt like I sang and sang with no regards to time or anything... Even though some people may not have liked that I felt like it was just what I needed.
Whooo! This post came out waaaay longer than intended to be, but I just want to keep it forever and never forget this lovely weekend. Soon i'll post the real important thing... What I learned. :)