“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord” Jeremiah 29:11-14a
Planning for any Via de Cristo weekend takes time, energy, cooperation from many, and of course prayer. This was no different when the meetings started for weekend #642. Many, many calls, text messages and emails were made in asking people to say “yes”, both to team members and weekenders. As we all know, receiving a yes from a soon to be weekender is not always the first time we ask. But with persistence, answering questions and prayerful asking, the challenge was accomplished. I am so thankful for the guidance of the Lord to reveal in our hearts that this was the next step to take on our faith journey. No matter where you are in life, if we have even a sliver of an open heart, wonderful and amazing truths can be shown, and this is proven throughout history with how many successful Via de Cristo weekends we have had and are yet still to come.
The weekender count did vary a little on this #642nd weekend from anywhere between 25-31. Our excitement grew with the numbers as we reached the dates we have been giving so much for. Unfortunately, sickness was a factor in hindering some of the precious weekenders who were supposed to attend the full weekend, either by not feeling well enough to attend at the beginning or sending a few home after one or two nights with us. Either way, we were saddened by this, and still we have that faith and trust that the Lord did empower the Holy Spirit on those children and they felt a glimpse of His love. I do remember hearing that a few of those applicants are willing to attend in the Spring…so the asking for a yes will continue to go on! The weekenders that did attend enjoyed laughter, tears, and building trust in friendships. They were open to let us guid them on their journey of faith in each step that was taken. The Rollos they listened to made an impact on how God does work in amazing ways with weaving our lives together to help and be there for each other. They will continue to grow with Grace and knowledge of what they were able to take from all that unfolded for each of them. I am thankful for their willingness to accept the love shown them.
The team was blessed to serve together as we grew in fellowship and leadership. The Rollo Room added an additional table to end up with 6 full tables in the last couple of days. This brought the count up to 20 team and 25 weekenders for a fun and faith filled time together. Palanca team had a joyous time praying 24 hours each day over the weekender candles, prayer requests, and everything they felt led to pray for. The singing and wonderful music absolutly helped them grow together in friendships along with each rollista stopping in to visit and pray. Kitchen team was definitely blessed by being organized and ready to go with the coffee at all hours of the day and night. They ran a close nit crew that were on top of things to stay on schedule and ready to be flexible with a moments notice. And the food… yes that fueled our bodies and gave us the energy to keep on showing and receiving Gods Agape Love. The food was prepared to serve a King, and it truly was a blessing in taste. The 4th day team held things together with their quick thinking and labor of love to prepare room after room after room all weekend long. They were truly a servant team who went the extra mile in preparation, serving and getting things done. I truly appreciate how much they accomplished!
Any obstacles, you ask??? Yes, we did find ourselves up against some of those. At times it seemed to drain energy, positiveness, and cooperation, but we did not allow this to stop the march in moving forward! Things that I would have liked to see happen differently or may not have been a part of my plan… was a part of the plan that was to be. And it was a beautiful, worthy plan that was a true success! I am honored and blessed beyond words, to say how proud I am of each person helping and giving in any way possible to see that weekend #642 was an honor to our Lord! Indeed, this story was written with His guidance.
God Loves You and So Do I
Jennifer (Radke) Coudron