A2 Goes on a Digital Spiritual Retreat
A few weeks ago, Asian Access held our annual fall national directors gathering virtually due to travel restrictions from COVID-19. While not ideal for us, it was such a rich time of fellowship given the limitations of in-depth relational connections via digital formats.
Nevertheless, most were delighted to see one another, commune together, and grow in Christ. We spent a great deal of time resting in the public reading of scripture, especially meditating on Psalm 84:5-7.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
As you'll see in the images posted from our team, we reflected in times of silence and later sharing in small breakout groups, the “Valley of Baka” season. It was a powerful time together and poignant given the fallout from the global pandemic. Many of my colleagues and our alumni have been hit hard.
In the Valley of Weeping
As we shared it was enlightening to hear from one another.
Weathered, but also refreshed
Hearing people mention how they have weathered the storms of COVID and are wrestling with the economic fallout, they spoke of also being a source of refreshment like the ‘springs’ and ‘autumn rains’ bringing ‘pools’ to their communities. In the midst of their own crises and pain, they strive to be a place of hope for the world.
And, on this pilgrimage, we were reminded of the most important thing: Asian Access' first outcome and value, Living in a Love Relationship with God is all-important. To be a source of light in the midst of our own suffering, we look to the source of life and light himself: “our strength is in you!”
Isn’t that powerful?
Hearts set on pilgrimage with Christ
When we are in the Valley of Baka, the dry desert season of life, the place of weeping, we can be a source of life for others as we look to and rest in Christ. For,
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”
As we rest in Christ, his strength helps us through the difficulties of life and brings us living water to refresh us and those around us in the challenges of our world. In this place of refuge, we “go from strength to strength.”
I don’t know what Baka season life may have for you right now, but as my colleagues were sharing, in the midst of our pain and suffering, we can lean on Jesus as our source of strength and become a refreshing soul for those around us.
May you find his strength today for the challenges you are facing. I’m praying for you!
Rev. Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.