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[en Français]

The Oxygen retreat for youth leader and young leaders emerging from our District churches took place from January 18-20 2019 at Villa du Carmel. Here is the testimony of Caroline Gaudreau from Église ACM de Matane about her participation to the retreat:

For starters, I would like to thank those who worked and invested time in planning this retreat which, I know for sure, was a milestone in my Christian walk. At the retreat, we got to experience the presence of God in various ways and to learn many things. I believe each person present was surprised in one way or the other by God and by the weekend. This was my case, and the following is a short summary of what I learned.

The teaching and discussions gave me the opportunity to widen the vision I had of what a spiritual leader is and to measure myself in function of my strength and my areas of improvements.  I even realized certain things that I saw as flaws were not necessarily so. I understood that in reality, those “flaws” needed to simply be lived out in more moderate and thoughtful ways in order to become qualities, and to be used by God.

Being aware of my needs will help me gain spiritual maturity through praying with greater awareness and being more careful regarding my needs. I know it also leads me to making a choice: believe that God can change me above the limitations I always think I have and accept that he does it despite the discomfort or the fears it brings. For those of you who have it at heart, pray for me please, that I find strength and boldness in Christ to persevere and to dare moving forward, always further, with him. I know this is a necessary step and that, despite what I see with my own eyes at the moment, this will be the basis of great joy and freedom.

In regard to the events, experiences and circumstances that we went through during that weekend, I can claim that God is in control from the beginning to the end. His many interventions gave us the opportunity to practice seeking face together and discerning his voice and it demonstrated us the importance for a leader to know how to make decisions, not based on ourselves but based on common good and, even more specifically, based on the needs of each person. I’m coming out of this experience with a more established assurance and trust in God who, even in the most complex situations, can find the most surprising responses.

Finally, the unbelievable openness shown by the involved leaders inspired me greatly. Both through their sharing and testimonies and through their listening and servanthood, each one of them made themselves available, revealing to be excellent examples of leadership for us. Through their humility and their love, the Lord revealed himself and encouraged me to trust him for what comes next and for this I am truly thankful to them. There is no price for all I gained and I thank the Lord for the commitment of all those who made it possible for me to live this experience.