Posted by: jacobgillard | April 21, 2011

All-Africa Missionary Gathering–A Grace Place

Grace Place Africa 2011

"All-Africa Missionary Gathering--A Grace Place" took place in late March 2011 and was a logistical miracle. It was no small feat to gather all of us on the North Coast of Kenya for 6 days/5 nights of rest and renewal. It was the first time that all of us were together in one place at the same time. Pictured are GEO and career missionaries, volunteer child caregivers, and Grace Place hosts.

The folks at Grace Place Lutheran Wellness Ministries sure went out of their way to remind LCMS WM missionaries in Africa that we’re appreciated and loved. Missionaries aren’t immune to stress and burn-out so the preventative wellness they brought to us were just what the doctor ordered! I should also mention that the fellowship with co-workers old and new was spectacular.

A debt of thanks is owed to Grace Place for making the spiritual retreat possible by raising the funds necessary to cover our program, food & accommodation—as well as their expenses. The airfare and visas were covered by each missionary unit’s regular “station travel” budget and you’ll be happy to know that those funds were already budgeted and raised so it wasn’t a burden to the WM budget at all.

This was the first internationally convened Grace Place retreat expressly for LCMS missionaries. Grace Place organizers are willing to offer the same for the other WM regions so if you’d like to encourage them in those fundraising efforts or learn more about their ministry to church workers—and some of the things we experienced—just visit www.graceplaceretreats.org or www.thinkwe.com

If you look closely at the photo you’ll see my parents who volunteered as short-term missionaries to offer child care activities for the elementary-aged kids.  Katie and Carla tackled the upper grades.  It was affirming to hear reports that all the kids displayed super behavior while their parents were attending the Grace Place sessions.  (Yes, yes, I know—it skips a generation.)

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