Retreat - Servanthood - February
by John Benedetto
/ Leuven, Belgium
After a 6 a.m. flight from Dublin, my first impression
of Leuven consisted of a great Belgian welcome and a big, wrm waffle with
chocolate drizzled on top. What can I say; I was sold from the start. Unsurprisingly,
our time in Belgium ended up having more substance to it than my initial
The theme for the retreat was Servanthood, a topic
hopefully not unfamiliar to Gappers. Our first major session was led by
Paul Jordan; right away he talked about how servants need to take on the
mind of their master in order to serve their master well.
It struck a chord with me that a servant must
deny himself completely before he can serve as Christ calls him to serve.
I think this left us with a very uneasy feeling, especially considering
how radical a decision this is in today's culture. It was a challenge for
us as servants seeking to go deeper in service!
On Thursday we took a trip to Ghent, where we
had the opportunity to see a couple of stunning cathedrals and take a tour
of a medieval castle built in the year 1180.
Throughout the week both the guys and the girls
got a taste for what household life was like in Leuven. Niamh McFadden
led the household experience for the female Gappers from the region who
had a great time. Joe Fahd did an excellent job in giving each male Gapper
an opportunity to lead the household in different ways. To top it all off,
we spent Friday preparing for the Student Worker Outreach Training (SWOT)
weekend where we were able to serve a training weekend for students workers
from around the European region. The retreat was a great opportunity for
us to grow closer as Gappers who have had to hurdle many of the same obstacles
this year. All in all, the craic was had.
Benedetto is from Dexter, Michigan, USA.]