These first few days onsite at a retreat are a little quieter, a little slower, which is nice. It allows us time to get a lay of the land. Since we are unable to scout venues ahead of time at the retreat locations, these first few days are crucial to getting everything ready to welcome both the Volunteer Team and the Attendees. It is a time of prayer and preparation.
One thing we learned as we finalized the pre-planning from the states is that the locals here just finished celebrating the Chinese New Year – the year of the Rooster. As we made our initial journey across the island from the airport to the hotel we saw areas around Penang that were still set up with remnants of the celebrations from just a few short weeks ago. Roosters are said to be hard-working, confident and courageous and while Chinese astrological signs don’t have anything to do with Thrive volunteer teams, we too are looking forward to the arrival of a hard-working, confident and courageous group. Our team may be down to just 15 volunteers and 3 Thrive staff persons, but we anticipated mighty works in our midst.
As we spend the next couple of days sitting down to meet with hotel representatives, connecting with local workers who are providing supplies, and scouting restaurants to provide nourishing meals to our volunteers, we are grateful to know the One who laid all these lands out in the first place, who knew right where we’d be and just what we’d need. We are grateful that although we did not scout the area before hand, we were sent to just the right place at just the right time.
We covet your continued prayers over the coming days as our numbers grow from the initial 6 onsite now to 18 and then 80 in just a few short days.