Day 2: Staff Retreat, hanging out with kids, and volleyball!

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Our first day started with an awesome breakfast at HOM. Our team quickly hit the ground running as we split into two groups. Pastor Adriel and I got our staff retreat materials together and left to an off-site location with the HOM staffs. Crystal and Daniel stayed behind and began to prepare the materials for the teen's workshop and children camp prep that is happening on Friday and Sat.

 * Vasya and Adriel leading worship.

* Vasya and Adriel leading worship.

Our staff retreat is one of the highlights for our team and the HOM staff as we provide a breathing room for worship, devotion, and discussions. It is a blessing for our team to be able to read the scripture and worship in songs together with our brothers and sisters here. For most of us, it is a glimpse, an experience, of the Church unified across all racial and ethnic boundaries. Regardless of our difference in language, it is incredible to hear the excitement as we contemplate God's word.

During the morning, we spend some time looking at how we can grow our vision by looking at the cycle of grief and the cycle of grace. In the afternoon, we looked at asset mapping as a tool for organization and community development. One of the most critical moments in our staff retreat is a time when our team stopped talking and gave them space to discuss and reflect among themselves. It is vital from our perspective that the HOM staff can pursue their mission from God not by what we think they should do, but that our role is to provide various tools, space, and encouragement as they confidently seek God's directions and opportunities. We want to be their cheerleaders! 

 * Team building games are LOVED by the staff here! 

* Team building games are LOVED by the staff here! 

During the evening a few of us play a few games of football with the children at the centre, but after our dinner, our team left for the Mercy campsite for 2+ hours of epic volleyball matches! Crystal was able to play for the whole time which is a blessing as the weather was beautiful. 

Our team ended off the night past midnight as we debrief on our day and the day to come. Confident to say, we all slept very quickly last night. 

 * Football game late afternoon with some of the kids. Quite a few new kids we met today!

* Football game late afternoon with some of the kids. Quite a few new kids we met today!