The June retreat focused on the benefits of Christian retreats...
Salam’s Retreats; Spiritual Growth and Lasting Memories
Kingston, Ill., June 14, 2021 — After the COVID-19 epidemic receded, the leaders at Salam Christian Fellowship decided to hold a monthly retreat through the months of spring, summer, and fall of 2021 at Walcamp Outdoor Ministries in Kingston, Illinois.
The June retreat focused on the benefits of Christian retreats and how the Bible gave examples of this spiritual practice in the Old and New Testaments.
There are many reasons why retreats are important. They help us to remove ourselves from the familiarity of our usual patterns or surroundings, to set aside time to get away with God in His Creation. Below are some of them, and we think you could come up with many more.
MEMORIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME
Walcamp is wonderful place. I have met many people in the Church who cherish memories of their visits to the campground in their youth. These memories don’t just tie them to a place, but also to fellowship with others who have walked along a similar journey. We humans are created to commune with God and with one another. Spending time as a group in an atmosphere of openness and vulnerability can allow Holy Spirit to greatly accelerate our Christian maturity.
In Lebanon, I used to go with my mentor to the mountains riding on the back of his motorcycle away from the din and clamor of the city. We would pull over, sit under a tree, and focus on God’s Word.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO UNPLUG AND REFOCUS
We rely so much upon our electronic gadgets in the 21st century. And while they are useful tools, they often cause distractions. A retreat offers more real, face-to-face time with fellow Christians, and offers more undistracted time to hear God’s voice.
SOMETIMES DAILY LIFE GETS IN THE WAY
To-do lists and deadlines are just a fact of life. We spend our time “doing life,” which can overwhelm our spirit with all the things on our lists and calendars. Pulling away on purpose to retreat from life’s pressure once in a while is a healthy way to balance priorities and seek His Wisdom to put things into a proper perspective
“Jesus often withdrew Himself into the wilderness to pray (Luke 5:16).”
Jesus did that after His baptism, when he spent 40 days in the wilderness at the onset of His ministry (Matthew 4). Not to mention different instances when he went to secluded places at dawn to pray. Jesus seems to do that before every big event in the Bible, foremost His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, before He went to Calvary.
We read of Jesus calling his disciples away to retreat at a very volatile and possibly overwhelming point at the beginning of their journey. “On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida.” Luke 9:10
It was after the beheading of John the Baptizer, and shortly after this retreat and shortly after this retreat together Jesus feeds the 5,000. He knew that they needed rest to have the ability to feed that crowd.
Therefore, deliberate sequestered fellowship with believers, praying in intercession for others, and studying the Word of God are more fruitful in a retreat setting.
Please join us and encourage converts from Islam and seekers to come to Salam’s monthly retreat, as we focus on theological issues that new believers struggle with.
Rev. Hesham Shehab, Pastor and Founder of Salam Christian Fellowship
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