3rd Iberian Peninsula Retreat
The third Iberian Reatreat in Europe was held in the camping site ‘Camping Internacional Aranjuez’ in the city of Aranjuez, which is neighbouring to Madrid, from the 18th to the 21st of September. Although there were difficulties in not being able to find a place a week before the Retreat, the Word of God that says ‘Be anxious for nothing’, allowed their hearts not to be worried and have a resting heart while searching for the place to hold this event. Eventually God allowed the perfect place for them. With Pastor Jun Hyun Park being the guest speaker, 30 brothers and sisters from Lisbon in Portugal, Madrid in Spain and the Vasco district had participated for this event.
The campsite, which was 30 minutes away from the capital, Madrid, was surrounded by a wide, dense forest providing a perfect place to recover both spiritually and physically. In the mornings, there were times to sing Hymns and listen to the Word, providing them with the time to let their tired hearts escape from the busy everyday life and immerse them into the Word of God. In the afternoon, programs such as football, swimming and hiking gave the participants leisure in their hearts for time being, while getting away from their busy lifestyles.
“When Abraham came back victorious from the war he gave Tithe to Melchizedek. Although at this time neither Isaac, nor Jacob nor Levi was born, in God’s eyes, because everyone is at Abraham’s hips we can see that it represents Levi giving Tithe. Likewise as Adam ate the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, because all humanity was at his hip God sees it as the whole of humanity eating the fruit. With our eyes we see the future but in God’s eyes he sees Jesus appearing at the end of the world. Hebrews 9:26, ‘…once at the end of ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.’”
As the participants heard the gospel, which says that through the last Adam, Jesus Christ they have received complete remission of sin, they were able to relive the love and providence of God who sent Jesus to make us free from sin. In the last morning session, there was a time to share the testimonies about how every person was able to escape from their difficult problems and immerse themselves into the Word.
Sister Theresa, who received salvation as a student in Peru but left the church for fourteen years because she did not want to receive the guidance of the church, came back with many difficulties and pains. As she heard the Word (1 Peter 2:25, “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls”), she realised about herself who was already inside the servant of God, who is the Shepherd, and the church, and for this she gave all the glory to God.
Brother Mario was able to recover the relationship with his wife through the church’s guidance and was able to live with the daughter he had live apart from for eight years. He came out with his family to sing a Hymn with a grateful heart about the guidance of God. Just as the pot in the potter’s hand changes according to the potter’s will, looking at God leading them we were filled with hope and when we think of our true image with God inside of us we are so thankful.
Despite it being a Retreat with a small amount of people, the heart of God that is happy about the seed of the gospel being spread in Spain and Portugal could be felt. As Portugal and Spain conquered the world in the past, one will hope that, once again, through Spain and Portugal the whole world will be covered with the gospel.