While for Tshepanang Members the Haphororo Retreat Centre at the Hartebeespoort Dam is well known since years for 24 Home Care Givers from Tlamelang it was for the first time that they experienced this special place on 05. -09.01.2017. They realized from the start how privileged they were to begin the New Year at this place.
Far removed from the troubles of every day life the long prayer sessions that are held here every day at 7 o clock in the morning and in the evening as well as our program that contained several times of silence gave them the opportunity to encounter God in a new way.
We started by looking at the prophet Elisha who did not find God in the mighty storm nor in the noisy earth quake but when the wind calmed down to a gentle whisper he realized immediately that now God is coming. Haphororo invites you to become aware of that gentle whisper.
After the Lectio Divina, that was based on John 15, 1-8 we had a very personal sharing in two groups. In the afternoon in even smaller groups we share our “life lines”. That means that everybody demonstrated the ups and downs of her life from childhood on by drawing a line. For some that was not possible without tears. But during the evening prayer we were encouraged to bring all the heavy things to Jesus while kneeling down near His cross. That brought relieve to some of us.
For Saturday we had planned a hike in the mountains that many had eagerly awaited. But God decided to bless us and the whole country with continuous rain on that day that our country so badly needs. So the hike had to be cancelled but God continued to walk with each and everyone of us through the meditation on the story of blind Bartimaeus. For several of the participants this was the first meditation in their lives and many of us heard the question “What do you want me to do for you ?” as directly addressing us ourselves.
In the remaining days there were also two sessions that dealt with our relationship to our co-workers. The first was under the headline “Why do we fear to disclose our HIV status?” and the second was simply termed “Fearing our co-workers” For each of these two sessions Itsholeng Moepi had prepared a good introduction that allowed us to discuss our issues in a very open and constructive manner.
In conclusion one can say that these days in Haphororo have not only brought each of us closer to God, but they also brought us closer to each other. During the evaluation round at the end 20 of the participants emphasized that next year we have to go again to Haphororo.