On November 19, 2018, teachers and staff from SDH Holland Village went on a personal retreat at a rather cold yet peaceful place in Tomohon. Teachers and staff had such a worthwhile activity because they realized they needed to pause their routines and make some special time to spend with their Creator. These teachers and staff followed the example of Jesus Christ who would “go up on the mountain by himself to pray” (Mat. 14:23).
Teachers and staff gathered in the chapel in Tomohon at around 10 a.m. They sang songs with a grateful heart, accompanied by a melodious guitar. After that, an enthusiastic biblical studies teacher Bapak Denny Waas introduced the theme of the retreat: “I am the Alpha and Omega,” which is taken from Revelation 1:8. He also excitedly explained an activity called Lectio Divina that teachers and staff were to do. There are four movements of Lectio Divina: Lectio (read), meditation (meditate), oratio (pray), and contemplation (contemplate). Teachers and staff were to read Revelation 1-3.
At 11 a.m., teachers and staff began to disperse. They chose a place where they could savor a few hours of solitude. Teachers and staff have around four precious hours to complete the four movements of Lectio Divina. While doing the movements, teachers and staff willingly fasted in order to help them focus on God. Even though the weather was rainy, the enthusiasm of the teachers and staff to commune with God did not seem to be affected.
At 2:30 p.m., teachers and staff were expected to finish their Lectio Divina. They were to meet up to take a group picture. After that, they gathered with their respective groups and broke the fast together while giving thanks to God. In groups of four to five, teachers and staff honestly shared their retreat experience. Some admitted that they could not meditate and contemplate for a long time because Lectio Divina was new to them. Others shared about what they understood from the Book of Revelation, how the reading was related to their lives, and how they should respond to challenges they encounter in their lives. While sharing, teachers and staff enjoyed each other’s company and the genuine fellowship.
Teachers and staff prepared to travel back to school at around 4 p.m. They did not go home empty-handed. They had been strengthened by the Holy Spirit to serve again and fulfill their calling. The personal retreat had been a gentle reminder for teachers and staff at SDH Holland Village to faithfully maintain the positive relationship they had with God as they worked together for his glory.