Throughout the year I have had four retreats with my organization, TeachOverseas (ESI). This past weekend we had our final “End-of-the- Year” retreat. This was supposed to be a last hurrah of sorts, as well as a chance to say good bye to some of our fellow teachers who don’t live near us. This was complicated by the fact that we still have three and a half weeks left here and almost all of us are going on a rafting trip together next week.
Despite these incongruities it was a great time. The sun (finally!) decided to make an appearance and it was really nice to hang out again one last time with everyone. We did worship in English, reflected on the year, took Communion together and played a super slick game called Word Blur, which is totally awesome besides the fact that it makes your blood pressure shoot through the roof.
As I said above, I will see most people next week or before I leave, but the following fact stuck with me: This group, which has been spread across the Czech Republic all year, will probably never be together exactly like this again. God brought us together, uniquely and providentially. It may sound cheesy but it has been a running theme in my life up to this point and I think it’s an important one to latch on to. I’m so thankful for my fellow ESI-ers. It has been so great to meet them, live with them, serve with them. They are the main people who made this year survivable when times were hard and who made it awesome when things improved. It won’t be easy to say goodbye. But these are the type of people and community that when the time comes you just have to step back and reflect and most importantly, think to yourself, “Thanks for this time together Lord.”