I was part of the first batch to participate in the Youth Ministries Singles Retreat last year. I was quite apprehensive about the thought of me being a participant. I was always used to being the facilitator and not the participant. Another reason was because i didn't see the point of it all. I was, at the time, courting a girl from the south. To attend a singles retreat, for me, would mean i wasn't serious about her and that meant betrayal in my book. I tried to have as much fun as I could, but most of the time i preferred being alone. Detaching myself from everyone was my rebellious cry against the system that put me where i truly believed i didn't belong to. I never thought that my actions would catch the attention of anyone. I was confident that i was cruising in stealth mode, far beyond the range of anyone's radar. I was dead wrong.
Waking up on the last day of the retreat, gave me confidence that i have eluded everyone. My plan for the day was set; avoid everyone by looking around for scorpions. I had it all pictured in my head, play a few games with the participants then go directly to the pool to cool off. Again, my plan failed. I'm not a morning person, but on that Sunday morning i was up early. i even took a bath and dressed up for a rugged day. In my head i kept saying to myself, "Dont talk to anyone! You woke up to look for scorpions." As i walked past the dining hall and about to cross the bridge, my concentration was broken. Someone was standing at the entrance to the hall. She was alone, drinking coffee. A force drew me to her, and before i knew it, i was already asking if i could join her. There goes my "look for scorpions day."
Our conversation was somewhat unorthodox for two people who barely know each other. She describes it as a history lecture because i was constantly babbling about my home town. Our conversation shifted to translating words to our native dialects. Words such as love, i miss you, will you marry me, ...etc. Our conversation was interrupted by the call for the morning devotional. As we made our way to the morning worship, i thought to myself, "Bitin! oh well, i probably wont get another chance to talk to her."
After the morning breakfast, i went for my usual solitary walk. I was enjoying the view when suddenly, there she was, walking at a distance. I tried to catch her attention by clapping, but she didn't seem to notice me. I followed her, and found her by the bahay kubo. The magic that started during the morning coffee continued at the kubo.
I was assigned to organize the 2nd batch. It was my turn to be the facilitator. The planning and preparation was very stressful. It was frustrating especially because there were very few participants this time around. The guys outnumbered the girls by three, and our female facilitators had to fill in the blanks. My brain was on overdrive in all the activities. I'm pretty sure my blood pressure was high during the retreat. I kept wondering if the same magic that happened last year would also happen to a lucky couple this year.
The magic came about a bit earlier than expected. The same as the magic in the past retreat, it happened like clock work. Perfect timing after perfect timing. I can truly say the hand of the Lord was directing it all. At one point i was actually afraid that people might think I set it all up...that the whole thing was rigged, but there was no human intervention. I believe it was divine intervention.
At the last hours of the retreat, Joy and I reminisced at the events of the year that passed and how it all started in Montreal at the kubo of the knowledge of good and evil.
I am glad that this year God once again blessed us with new relationships and new friends. We are fortunate to be witnesses to a new relationship that blossomed during this retreat. By the way, the kubo of the knowledge of good and evil has been superceeded by the pool of bethesda. I wonder whats next....garden of gethsemane perhaps?