This past week was filled with preparation for our annual choir retreat.  Our retreat was Friday, Saturday and ended Sunday when our choir sang their new music at First United Methodist Church in Melbourne.  Our South Carolina choir members traveled to be with two of our choirs in Central Florida. 

We spent Friday night at Word of Life Retreat in Hudson, Florida.  It was a marvelous experience.  Three meals (lunch, dinner and breakfast) and a night in cabins for $50 a person.  The meals are unbelievably extravagant.  The accommodations are excellent for campgrounds.  There are 12 bunk beds in each cabin with two rooms and a large bath with three showers.   We were given enough cabins so that we didn’t have anyone on top bunks, except one person who always chose the top bunks.  Things are clean and new.  These were the cabins where they formerly housed their full-time Bible college students.

After an amazing breakfast, we went to Holy Land Experience, in Orlando, Florida.  I must tell you that I’ve resisted going there for years.  However, this visit has changed my mind and heart.  The tickets on-line are $30.  There is now a series of stage plays all day long.  They are funny and Bible based.  The actors and singers are gifted men and women whose dedication to the Lord shows in each performance. 

Even more than the food, teaching, entertainment, fellowship and accommodations, the Lord truly moved on the hearts of our choir members.  We saw hard heart melt and soft hearts weep for families and friends.  As we left, each of us said that the most important thing that had happened was the we met God in a miraculous way during our retreat.

Today, 28 people traveled to Hudson, Florida for our choir retreat.  Our members were overwhelmed by the positive and wonderful response that they received by the Bible College student at Word of Life.  We could never thank them enough for their gracious response to us.

While our population is a cloistered sub-culture, it is not always by their choice.  Yes, they love being together and sharing among themselves.  However, when people show them gracious and loving hospitality, they are exceptionally complimented and feel that love. 

We will never be able to thank the students from Word of Life enough for singing with us for hours.  Playing pool and swimming with us was so much fun.  We hope that they will come to visit us.  Of course college students are always strapped for gas money.  However, we never know when God is truly working in the hearts of people and perhaps even drawing people toward ministry within this important population.

In the meantime, thank you, students for loving us and showing such hospitality!