Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Year in Review

When we look back in the rearviw mirror at the journey that we've been on here at CoHo in 2005, we see a lot of God's handiwork.

This past year has been one of growth and stretching; one of trust and obedience; a year of drawing closer to God and to others.

Some of the highlights are the Women's Retreat in July. Although I personally wasn't there, I hear the toenail painting was really amazing! In all seriousnes, many women commented how much closer they became after that weekend.

Not to be outdone, the Men's Retreat was a roaring success on the upper Red Deer River in July. We ate like kings, courtesy of our camp cook Brian, and had great logistics thanks to Dave B. and all of his hard work. The weather was unbelievable, and the rapids were enormous! Never have I seen such a display of heroism put on by such neophyte paddlers. If the guys had of only known how challenging the paddling was to be then they wouldn't have come!

Chris looked like Spiderman patrolling the banks of the river. Charles looked as stiff as a 2x4 on Sunday morning after the paddling. Sore Charles? My own cuts and bruises from the swim at Gooseberry Ledge kept me humble throughout the weekend.

We had a wonderful 'Welcome Back' party in September. It was great to see old faces and new ones have the opportunity to call Community of Hope their home for the first time. Early October had the Ministry Fair and in November came the first installment of Ignite!

Christmas With Style touched us deeply in November, and ther Grey Cup Party was a roaring success, except I still think we crowned the wrong champion. Sorry Robert!

There were of course so many other great happenings. The arrival from Taylor of Tubby Cow and gang, and so many other events that took place. More than just pointing to events, though, are the changed lives that dot the landscape. So many people who came back to follow Jesus after being away for a time, or reconnected with church after wandering disconnected for so long.

It has been a truly inspiring start for us as a family at CoHo. From that first visit when my kids had a blast just running around to the overwhelming generosity at Christmas of everyone, we have been so blessed to call CoHo home.

I believe that next year is going to be a great ride, too. God wants us follow Him wherever He asks, and while it is thrilling to do that it's not always comfortable. God wants us to continue to grow into being the place where others can be freed to experience life to the fullest. As my friend Paul says, a place where we can decompress from the mold of the world or the 'cookie-cutter Christianity' mold!

Roll up your sleeves and grab on because the roller coaster is headed up!


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