Salinas Chapter January 2018 Challenge Weekend Recap

 

I heard the prompting and felt the nudge in early December.  Surely God doesn’t want me to lead a CIC weekend, I’m too busy, too involved with other volunteering, blah, blah, blah.  A few weeks later, after turning away many times, I came face to face with the issue during a conversation with a CIC brother.  I don’t recall the topic of the discussion, I just remember my response to him went something like this, “I know God is calling me to do something (lead the January weekend), I’ve just been ignoring it, hoping it’ll go away.”  We both laughed, but I knew what I had to do.
A few days later I found myself on the phone asking if a leader for the weekend was still needed.  Part of me hoped they already had someone, the other part knew they didn’t.  The moment I listened to God’s call, and said yes, He began filling my heart and mind with ideas.  He knew who He wanted on the team and who would give what talks.  I listened as He asked us to accept, allow and appreciate each man just as they are, just as He created them, and not how I/we thought they ought to be. 
That spirit of acceptance flowed through our team meetings and into the weekend.  The men that arrived were greeted with a spirit of love and appreciation.  This was their weekend, God’s weekend.  On Sunday, at the end of our time together, the participants shared their experiences and many a tear was shed. 
Some common responses were how much they appreciated getting to know the other participants and making new friends; having the opportunity to open up and talk about real life issues; and being touched and inspired by the personal testimonies shared.  Some suggestions for future weekends were to possibly rotate them among the small groups so they get the chance to work with other men.  Also to maybe have open discussions with the whole group once or twice instead of the small group discussions.  Overall, the group dynamic was strong and we all just enjoyed being together.
We’re all party of the Body of Christ after all, we all experience struggles, challenges, pain and joy.  There’s just something Godly amazing and miraculous about a group of men from such diverse generations and backgrounds coming together and supporting each other as we journey through life in the spirit of Christ.  Healing happens, growth happens, love happens, and miracles happen!
Tony Brigantino