A Big Southwest Thank You From Nan!

Thank You!

Southwest Regional Retreat Staff (from left to right): Stan Mattson, Steve Elmore, Nan Rinella, Kirk Manton & Andrew Lazo
Southwest Regional Retreat Staff (from left to right): Stan Mattson, Steve Elmore, Nan Rinella, Kirk Manton & Andrew Lazo

Lord Jesus – Who did exceedingly abundantly above all that we asked or thought, according to the power that works in us – To You be the glory and to us a great blessing.

The retreat was weighty & glorious, and we writers learned how to “steal past those watchful dragons.” Ours was truly a faculty worthy of Lewis, but no one was more “surprised by joy” at the finished mosaic the Lord had fashioned, than me.

Father – for calling us in your Spirit to glorify you and fellowship in true community. For overcoming every obstacle, answering each little prayer for help, and for your angelic covering.

Participants – for engaging in this exceptional experience at Camp Allen last week, giving of your time, treasure, and selves. Each one of you contributed in a special way.

Speakers – for your profound contributions – furthering our vision, enhancing our knowledge, increasing our wisdom, and fanning our desire to go “further up & further in.”

Performers – for entertaining us, delighting our senses, and transporting us to heavenly realms. Paraphrasing author Margaret Therkelsen: Our God came forth through you to rise up in you in all His beauty.

We came from near and far – from diverse backgrounds, gathering together in community after the fashion of C.S. Lewis and The Inklings. We were not “driven” but “called.” We were like kids surrounding the “cookie jar.” Longing was satisfied, joy discovered, and heaven glimpsed, in the now, and in our resurrected earth of the future. I have never been a part of a community of people who encouraged me, and each other more, and radiated the love of our Lord than y’all.

Camp Allen family – President George Dehan and Director Toni Christopher, of a thousand e-mails. Kudos to the camp crew for the hospitality, delicious meals, and extraordinary care. Their motto – Teamwork makes dreams work.

Stan & Company – President Stan Mattson for dreaming the dream and lovely Jean, the woman behind him. The Foundation crew-those on site, on stage, and behind the scenes in Redlands – We did it. Again. “Infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.” By the grace of God & in His strength. Hallelujah!

Y’all come back, ya hear?

Nan Rinella