I have been preparing to launch the Emmaus retreat program at All Saints (my church) for two years. Finally it is starting! Tomorrow we leave for our first retreat with nine retreatants signed up.
These last few weeks have been the most stressful times I can remember. I am certain that the devil himself was trying to make us fail. Unlikely technical problems developed like my email software started randomly dropping parts of outgoing messages. Then Word started to hang and I had to restart the computer to get it working again.
Many non-technical problems started popping up. Dozens of men said they would go as soon as we were able to get started. But we began signing up people and we had only three registered just two weeks before the start of the retreat. We would cancel the retreat if we didn’t have at least six.
Then, three weeks before the start date, one of the team members had an emergency and would not be able to participate. I had to find a replacement in one day in order to get him introduced to the retreat team.
Then the co-leader’s father died and he had to leave the state just two weeks before the retreat. He would be back in time for the retreat but he would not be around for the final preparations.
And then, a priest who was signed up to assist at the retreat called and said he couldn’t make it – six days before the retreat.
But the Holy Spirit was with us. I had an old computer in the house and switched to that one – slow but everything worked. Six additional retreatants signed up in the last two weeks before the retreat. A replacement team member volunteered and was immediately integrated into the team. A priest was found who just happened to have an open time slot and he agreed to fill in for us.
So tomorrow we leave with all of the known problems resolved. Sunday evening I will finally be able to relax after a successful and joy filled retreat.