In September, Time for God supervisors organized and led four weeks of separate retreats for all the volunteers in their program. I was in the last week. We began each day with a delicious breakfast then worship.
High Leigh Retreat Center’s beautiful building, lush bunny covered fields, and snazzy automated hot drink machine kept us fueled as we discussed living in England, balancing our finances, and life as a volunteer mission worker in a first world country.
During the days we had some time to relax and climb a few trees. So we did. the week was beautiful and way too short. I made some new friends and chased a bunny.
Whenever anyone wants a drink they circle the office and ask if anyone else wants one. “Tea or coffee?” and “Milk and sugar?” are commonly asked questions. The water pitcher is filled instant coffee is poured or tea bags are dropped and drinks are passed around. Oh, we all have our special mugs; helps us to keep track of who ordered what drink and which cup goes where. We also have staff coffee every Friday. All of BMS attends. I love it because it is the one day a week we get filter coffee.
Meals and break time
We eat lunch together every day at 12:45, normally. Sometimes work gets in the way – sudden scheduled meeting, an overseas call, growing pile of work – but normally we eat then go for a walk. An hour of our day is dedicated to us having a bit of rest so we run errands, stop in shops, or just wander around.
Communications consists of the writing team, design, and proofing. We are responsible for BMS’s publications, media, filming, and all the things you could think of that a communications department would do. The writing team writes news stories every week, uploads content to the website, calls foreign countries, interviews mission workers, and constantly picks on each other. I think the team is so efficient because of our healthy mix of work and both during and after work hours.
So far, I have written a story every week, uploaded digital copies of the magazines to BMS’ website, searched for pictures in the database, visited the archives, and called outside of the country. I have called mission workers in Uganda, Chad, Nepal, and England. Aside from the general trepidation that comes with calling virtual strangers and the possibility of the worse connection known to man, this doesn’t get old. Speaking with those who spend dedicate their lives to helping other is humbling. Listening to the honest stories is enriching. Turning their stories into word productions is reviving.
So this is what I do. I listen, learn, eat, play, walk, relax, read, write, stare ate screens and most importantly, I live and write.