We were so blessed this year to take our first-ever staff retreat to kick off the year. Some had just flown in a day or so before, but we loaded up on a big bus and rode to Sakintepe Retreat Center in Bolu, Turkey. It's remote, mountainous, and quiet.
The retreat center has been many years in the making. Some of our school kids even went on a work trip years ago to help build this main meeting hall below. It's a blessing to have a place set up that is friendly to people like us, not too far from our city (a couple of hours), and very accommodating for what we needed.
Though CC had some role in leading, most of the task was delegated. Those to whom jobs were given did a fabulous job organizing us. We had worship, talks to spur us on, fellowship over meals, and some free time.
We had a guest come lead us in worship and another good friend lead us in the Word.
The gals prepped the food, the guys cleaned up.
Here's my cabin after we made spaghetti for 40! We rocked it! I have to say this because it is way too interesting to skip...the gal on the left is a Campbell (long lost cousin, we call her), the next one was Big Ben's nanny for a semester when she had just graduated from high school and came to serve with us (and I had to emergency fill in for a semester) and is now a teacher, and the next gal grew up in Turkey and went to SBEC for a year while her family was in the US while I taught 3rd grade there! When we first met, we just kept staring at each other, then finally pieced it together. She is just as cute now as she was as a first grader!
And my takeaway from the retreat was this...God has indeed given us a fresh start. The staff we have is positive, flexible, like-minded. They jumped right in, requested me to be a friend on Facebook (which, being the boss' wife, is touching to me), and are sweet and encouraging. I believe God is going to do great things this year!