Reflections on the Global Retreat

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The excitement for RTIM’s inaugural global retreat has slowly built over the past few years. We couldn’t wait to connect with global workers new and old, to be encouraged and refreshed by biblical teaching, and to affirm the truths of Scripture together through song. 

At one point, I saw four global workers chatting together in a circle. It struck me: these global workers do ministry in four different continents—from South America to Europe to Sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East. This conversation is representative of the retreat, which was full of conversations with like-minded workers that resulted in deep encouragement. 

Our workers’ cultural context varies greatly. However, we all share the same passion for the local church. It was a special joy to interact with workers and learn about what God is doing through their work. Some are in hard places working to establish a church in a local language. Others serve existing churches, trying to help them toward health. Still, others are training up local pastors and church leaders. Despite our differences, our like-mindedness was a joy to observe. 

Global workers spend so much time pouring their lives into those around them. Usually, that means they have few opportunities to participate in a gathering that’s designed to encourage them personally. So their need for spiritual refreshment and encouragement is great.  

During the retreat, we had the privilege of sitting under the biblical teaching of John Folmar, the pastor of Evangelical Christian Church of Dubai. He directed our attention to selected chapters from Isaiah that unfolded the person and supremacy of Christ. Our time was rich and we left with a deepened resolve to press on for His glory. 

One of the sweetest times of the week was singing the truths of Scripture together. 

Global workers usually sing unfamiliar songs not in their mother tongues. So the opportunity to sing the truths of our faith brought life to so many. Their joy was genuine and contagious as we joined with colleagues singing the Word together.  

  • The church volunteers who flew in to care for and minister to the children and youth were such an encouragement. Their sacrificial and effective ministry allowed the global workers to be undistracted. 
  • The conversations that happened in and around the pool were so encouraging—from how to raise kids in a third culture, to how workers could collaborate across cultures and regions. 
  • At each meal, the RTIM member care team intentionally engaged with workers and families from their regions. The opportunity to spend dedicated time with the workers face-to-face was unique.
  • I enjoyed watching the TCKs form friendships that will, Lord willing, last a lifetime. At the beginning of the week, few knew each other. By Friday night, I noticed how common bonds of upbringing had created quick friendships.

Matt Boswell humbly led us in worship during the week. One of the songs we sang was “Almost Home,” whose first stanza reads:

“Don’t drop a single anchor, we’re almost home.

Through every toil and danger, we’re almost home.

How many pilgrim saints have before us gone?

No stopping now, we’re almost home.”

These words remind us that the toil of ministry is worth it. Throughout the week, my mind kept dwelling on RTIM’s unity of heart and mind. Our like-minded convictions and purpose allowed us to gather and simply focus on God’s Word and encourage one another to press on for Christ’s glory and fame.

Peter Brock

Peter Brock serves Reaching & Teaching as Regional Leader for Europe & MENA. He and his wife, Lisa, served as missionary church planters in Italy from 1993 – 2003. They currently reside in Louisville, KY. Previous to moving to Louisville, Peter served as Missions Pastor at Faith Baptist Church of Winter Haven which allowed him to travel extensively and see firsthand the needs around the world for discipleship and teaching. While in this role, he also served as President of Faith Baptist Mission. Peter has a deep passion to serve missionaries well, to see the truth of the gospel preserved, and to see 2 Timothy 2:2 carried out in churches throughout the world. Peter and Lisa have four grown children and nine grandchildren.

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