A Retreat for Mexico in Monterrey was opened on the 2nd of April for the Easter season. Although it is not easy for all the brothers and sisters to gather in such a large country such as Mexico, it became a great happiness for them to come together and listen to the Word. In the Retreat last year, there were 578 participants but this year, that number nearly doubled at 1070 people. Moreover, through the invitation of the brothers and sisters and the participation of the Academy students, there were 180 new senior participants and 270 youth participants.
Following on from the Bible Seminar last year, the GBS Radio Internet was broadcasting live for this event. Through media and broadcasting, the brothers and sisters, who could not attend the Retreat, as well as the people from neighbouring countries, could hear the Word preached in the Bible Seminar and share the happiness together.
As we were preparing for this Retreat, we could see that God was working in a different way from our own thoughts. Andres, who is a hotel official at the 5 star SHERATON hotel, was a big help in order for us to use that place as our venue for the Retreat. He had participated in the World Camp that was held in Monterrey in 2007 and was heavily impressed by the IYF. From 2012, he became connected to the church and we could use the hotel every time for a good price.
And in this Retreat, because of the unexpected large numbers of participants, we had to look for another hotel. Although we had signed a contract with the MONTERREY hotel, it was found out that there was a dual contract with the owner, two days before the event, so we had to cancel the contract. However, God had opened the way and we were able to use the ANCIRA hotel (5 stars) for a similar price as the MONTERREY hotel.
The cancellation of the hotel did not look good in our eyes but as we handed the problem over to God, He allowed us to use the two best hotels in Monterrey for this Retreat. We could see that God was leading us in a different direction from our own thoughts, His guidance being much more blessed. As we were preparing for this Retreat, we felt like the servant who witnessed the water turning into wine, as we witnessed the work of God for this Retreat, realising that God was happy for this event.
Every evening, the performances; the choirs and plays prepared by each respective church, provided enjoyment for the brothers and sisters.
Pastor Kyoung Ho Song, who was invited as a guest speaker for this Retreat, preached about the Word in Genesis 27, saying that if people live thinking with their own standards, they cannot help but live a miserable life. Furthermore, he said that through this Retreat, he hoped that the brothers and sisters would throw away their own standards and receive the Gospel and to stand before God just like the heart of Rebekah and her family that had received her heart.
The Retreat was scheduled to be 3 nights and 4 days long and we thank God when we think of the brothers and sisters, who will rejoice in the setting that God had placed them in, and the new people, who will be saved.