“Unseen Warfare: The Great Victory” Winter Youth Retreat 2016
This year’s retreat focused on the hidden or unseen warfare of the devil and the greatness of the victory we have in our Lord Jesus Christ.
His Grace Bishop Paul spoke to us on Friday night about Moses’ encounter with God when he received the commandments and when the people sinned. His Grace highlighted to us how it was strange that Moses asked the Lord to see His glory when he just spent 40 days with God, in His glory! H.G. went on to explore why Moses did this and how Moses dealt with the people.
In our first talk on Saturday we read the story of the healing of the man who was possessed by a legion of evil spirits. This was a deeply touching talk as this story relates to us and H.G. pointed out that when we invite any sin into our lives, it always comes with its demon which in turn brings with it more demons which fits with the quick progression of a temptation to a sin and a sin to way of life. We were then put into workshop groups to discuss this in our everyday life, how the Lord wants to free us and that the true fight is with God for Him to defeat Satan for me.
After lunch, our second topic of the day was about the victory. And the character we examined with H.G. was Joseph the Righteous. His story is famously known as one of purity but H.G. made it clear for us that the underlying theme here is really spiritual maturity. H.G. took us from the very start of Joseph’s story, from when he was a foolish, spoilt boy with no real identity (except that of his tunic) to a mature man of God who knew his identity in God, who could see the deception in the world around him and who became an instrument for God’s glory.
In the evening, His Grace gave us a short presentation on the mission work that is taking place in Africa and then showed us a movie. As the first weekend of the Month of Kiahk, quite a few were very keen for the Kiahk Psalmody. This was a lovely experience of praise to end the evening.
It was nice to be able to pray altogether as one on Sunday during the Liturgy, although we all came from different places. We settled down for our last talk of the weekend after we’d finished breakfast (or for some us after we’d been baptised in breakfast); this was about the blessing. His Grace took us through four aspects of God’s blessings before studying the story of how Jacob became blessed – If you want to be blessed, you have to accept to be broken.
Thanks must go to our Lord for blessing this weekend and to His servants who worked and prayed for it to happen.