We had a contemplative and an energizing experience at our retreat with brother BJ Weber. BJ shared some powerful messages beginning with his Personal Testimony from Drug Use and Rebellion in the 60’s to Conversion and Spiritual Restoration for 6 years at a Dubuque Cloister/Monastery. He challenged us deeply with the 5 Essential Disciplines of the Christian Life and The Prayer of the Heart. Most of all he shared his heart, full of the love and mercy of Jesus with us.
He invited us as a faith community to participate with Christians across the country in “adopting” a family of Syrian refugees currently living in a camp in Bulgaria. They are Christians who have endured horrific treatment by ISIS including the beheading and crucifixion of family members, especially their children. They will be staying in Bulgaria for one year (Needed for State Department Approval) before coming to the US, during which time they will need monthly support for their food and expenses ($400 monthly). We will be sharing the details of how we can support them in coming weeks.
We offer our special thanks to BJ for making this weekend happen in his busy schedule. He was a great blessing to all of us in the main sessions and in meeting with many brothers in private.
Many thanks to our team of men who made the retreat a success like Dario our Friday dinner chef and snack provider. Thanks to Matt Helbling for leading worship along with Bob Gilbert from the Bible Chapel. Joe Goldcamp was a nice assistant to Dario preparing the meal and helping with the weekend. Thanks to Brennan Gaertner and his men for making it happen, and to all of our men who not only attended but gave of themselves to their brothers. Thanks to our leadership team, who used their influence in getting friends and family to join in the retreat with us!
Here are some of the comments from the brothers:
“Very uplifting weekend. Both Kelvin and I made great strides. It was very powerful.” – Dave Cullen
“The retreat was a great way to connect to God with a great fellowship group. It was a powerful and life changing weekend.” – Kelvin Cullen
“BJ makes me look at my recovery in a different light, a different way. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord!” – Bobby Franklin
“The spiritual companionship found in our group has saved my life and certainly my marriage. These retreats are always uplifting as brothers come to challenge and love each other. This was another great one. Thank you brothers, thank you Lord.” – Joe Goldcamp
“Great weekend to dive deep into our relationship with Christ and fellow brothers. It was filled with tons of material to keep me engaged for quite some time.” – John B. Taormina
“BJ was perfect! He gave us a great word that opened up many men. Best retreat so far after 6 years of retreats never being disappointed.” – John Cullen
“I needed the challenges and reminders from BJ and the whole group. I especially needed the emphasis on meditating on Jesus and his word daily.” – Matt Helbling