An Easy Yoke for 2018
23 Tlamelang members together with Wolfgang and Christel Hermann had the privilege to start the year 2018 with a retreat. Like last year we traveled to the Hartebeesport Dam and stayed in the Haphororo Retreat Center.
The topic of the retreat was “The Easy Yoke” that was taken from Mathew 11, 28-30. Before Jesus encourages his listeners to take up his yoke he invites them to lay down their burdens: “Come to me all who are burdened and worn out…” That’s why the first day of our retreat was dedicated to the theme “Laying down our burdens”. Together we discussed what kinds of burden we have to carry in our lives. Then everyone was given the opportunity to reflect on his/her personal burdens and to share them with one other person during a one to one counseling session. During the evening prayer we were invited to pray at the cross and to hand over all our burdens to Jesus.
On the following day we focused on the questions what it means in our present life situation to take up the yoke of Jesus. Christel Hermann emphasized in her bible study that was based on Mathew 16, 21-26 that we must not believe the many preachers who want to make us believe that a good Christian does not have to suffer. God allows hardships to come our way. The participants even went deeper into this insight through a personal meditation on Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane (Mathew 26,36-46).
What does it mean for our life style, for the way we relate to other people and for the way we deal with hardships when we make Jesus’ prayer our own “yet not as I will but as you will”? After the time of meditation there was a time of very personal sharing regarding these questions in two groups.
The regular morning and evening devotions that were conducted in Taizé stile by the Haphororo team were an additional help for the participants to come to themselves and to God during this retreat. Apart from the biblical topics three session on “stigma and discrimination” were held that were facilitated by Itsholeng Moepi and Dimakatso Ikaneng.
The hike in the nearby mountains turned out to be a very special experience for most of the participants. For many of them it was the first hike in their life and they were very proud that they did not only master the strenuous path but that they were also able to cross a torrential river for two times.
On Friday when we held the feedback session many participants expressed their gratefulness for the days of the retreat that they had experienced. They also strongly indicated that they wished to come back to Haphororo next year.