Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
Imagine sitting on a bench, basking in the beautiful green mountains of central Cebu. The air you’re breathing smells of fresh, clean mountain air. The cool wind is brushing against your face. You and your friends are feeling the sweet presence of Jesus as you study His Word.
This is a simple picture of the blessed time of retreat that the Restore staff enjoyed last March 29, when the team visited one of Cebu’s mountain getaways, the Sermon on the Mount Retreat Resort (named after Jesus’ famous sermon on the Beatitudes). The resort overlooks Cebu’s 3rd highest peak, Mt. Manunggal.
The retreat was a time to refresh our spirits and to recalibrate our souls through God’s Word. The team was blessed with a time of worship and listening to God’s Word from one of Restore’s partner pastors, Ptr. TJ Caparros. As Restore works with families who go through different forms of traumatic abuses and neglect, it is not uncommon for the team to struggle with vicarious trauma, burn-out, and discouragement. Ptr. TJ shared Psalm 42. His timely message reminded us that we can honestly pour out our emotions before God. Feelings of discouragement and despair are not new to God, for Jesus himself, a Man of sorrows, experienced these while He lived among men. We were reminded that we can preach to our souls, turning our sails from despondency to hope, with God as our anchor. Our hearts were assured that our God hears us and that in Him we can surely find peace, hope, and salvation amidst the sorrows of this depraved world.nnThe team also had a time of individual meditation and reflection on Philippians 4:8-9. Later, we had the opportunity to share and pray with the staff’s accountability groups.
Amidst the hustle and bustle at Restore, this retreat reminded the team that we cannot serve from an empty cup. We must be constantly filled with the joy, strength, and power that comes from hearing, reading, and applying of God’s Word. Praise be to God for His grace and these timely reminders.