We have been planning a vacation for our family, which includes the K’s, for several months now. We knew that it would be the last time that we would all be able to get away as a family before Keely returned to the states in July. We had all been setting aside our money and had planned to go the last week of May.
God had an even greater plan for us though!
About a month before our trip, I had lunch with a missionary friend named Jodi. She asked me if we got an invitation from CHN for the missionary retreat in Punta Cana. I told her that I knew nothing about it. She said, “Let me see if I can get you an invitation”. Long story short, she was able to get us one, and they gave one to the K’s too!
Get this…IT WAS THE EXACT WEEK that we had planned our trip.
Let me explain what the CHN Getaway is, to the best of my knowledge. CHN (CHRISTIAN HOSPITALITY NETWORK) is a group of angels that God sent down to earth to provide a respite to those who are working on the mission field. Each year, these angels gather at a 4-or-5 star resort and invite all the missionaries from far and wide. They give them 4 days and 3 nights to relax, rest, and rejuvenate. During that time, they bring other angels that have names like “Counselor”, “Hair stylist”, “Photographer”, “Chiropractor”, “Masseuse”, “Pastor”, “Worship leader”, “Handmaiden”, “Helper”, and “Babysitter”. Let’s also not forget all of the angels that stayed back in the States to help coordinate all of this, and those that donate money to make all of this possible. All of these angels come together, in one form or another, to love and serve all the missionaries! Each night, we are able to worship in ENGLISH! This year, the members of DALLAS BAY BAPTIST CHURCH came to sponsor and serve at this retreat.
Did I mention…that ALL OF THIS WAS FREE to us?!
We stayed at the MELIA TROPICAL CARIBE RESORT. It was a beautiful resort with tons of restaurant options and a huge pool right by the beach. It was so wonderful to sleep in air conditioning, watch cable TV, and shower with water pressure and hot water! The staff at the Melia was very helpful, and many were able to speak English. There was a gym available, as well as a spa with a steam room, sauna, and hot tub. The food was wonderful. We loved all of the options available: Thai, Japanese, Italian, American, Dominican, Mexican, and French, as well as several buffets with numerous options.
The main goal of these Getaways is to pour into the missionaries. Our team had not truly had time away from the community since February. My family took a two day getaway recently to get logistics together for the Surf Camp in June, which was a working getaway. The K’s, on the other hand, had not gotten away at all since February, and were running on what little reserve that they had left. This trip could not have come at a better time.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” Matthew 25:35
That was us…and so many other missionaries that joined us this week. We all came thirsty and were given ‘a cold drink of water”. We were filled to overflowing, so that we are now able to return to our work and fill others with our overflow! All because of these angels that came to show us God’s love! “Thank you” does not begin to show our gratitude for the love that each of these individuals gave to us! We left feeling loved and appreciated…and relaxed and rejuvenated!
In Matthew 9, we see Jesus helping others and performing miracles. This was His way of showing us SINCERE LOVE. His living example taught us how to go out and offer that to others. The Kingdom of God needs more “workers”, and God needs us to be His hands and feet more today than ever before.
For our retreat, the Chik-Fil-A company donated money to hire the team of masseuse at the resort to give daily foot massages. There were also volunteers that were called “Handmaidens” that gave daily hand massages, while loving on and praying over us. Seriously, these people have amazing hearts! I love the imagery of this as well…The hands and feet of Jesus massaging the hands and feet of His children!
If anyone would like to get involved with CHN, click here for their website –>The Christian Hospitality Network. The work that they are doing, their vision, and their love is truly a blessing for those of us on the mission field.
That crazy, stressed out peacock at the top looks a little worse for the wear. I am fearful that we looked a
whole lot bit like him when we arrived at the resort. Now, that fella on the bottom…the one with the beautiful, relaxed feathers…I am certain that we looked a whole lot more like him when we left!
It’s much easier (and less scary looking) when we are serving our community if we look like the bottom fella than the top one!
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
And He does…because God is faithful to His promises!