There aren’t enough words to describe the first month. I had already learned so much not only about leadership and ministering, but also, about myself. It was quite challenging leaving my home and my family, but it was also incredibly rewarding. From all of our many leadership and discipleship sessions to the church services to a church retreat, the few experiences I had in just the first month already was amazing.
The main purpose of this first month in Georgia was to train and prepare all of us for leadership and ministry as a whole. I learned so much so quickly. We had sessions on the psychology and sociology behind culture shock. We had sessions on leadership and what it means to be a servant leader. We had sessions on ministry and the importance of caring for and loving people (which I know sounds incredibly mundane, but trust me when I say that it takes an active effort to do this at times). We were taught about the importance of stories. Not only our own, but its true that everyone has a story that matters. People matter. These are just a few of the lessons that I learned during our training/sessions.
One of the first things we had the chance to do was a “Holy Spirit Retreat”. This was a retreat for the people of our host church here in Cleveland, GA, known as The Bridge. The purpose of this was to teach people about the Holy Spirit, and what role he plays in our lives. The Abante team and around 40 people from this church traveled to Tennessee up to the top of a mountain. Here we would be ministering through and even be ministered to. I was honored to be used as the “worship” leader. I put the word “worship” in quotes because, although I was over music, this isn’t the way that everyone worships. Some people dance; some people write; some people sit quietly in meditation. Everyone is different in this aspect.
Well, needless to say, the weekend went wonderfully, and nobody fell of the edge of the mountain. However, I had a few things that I took away from this. God was revealing places where I needed to grow and lean in to Christ more. Not only was I growing closer to God, but He was leading me closer to my team.
You know how they say that you don’t know a person till you have to live with them? Well, when I joined Abante, I gained quite a few roommates. After a month I was already beginning to grow close to these people in that short amount of time. I am glad I was because as the journey continued we all started to lean upon each other.
These are just a few of the things that I was so lucky to experience in the short month that I had been involved in Abante. I know over the following months of Abante will be exciting and amazing!
I hope that you all stay in contact. I want to say thank you to all of my supporters. Make sure to read a few of my colleagues’ posts to see what they have to say about a few of the things that we have done. Thank you and keep reading!