Posted by Lynn Cleaveland  


After meeting with some of our Brazilian leaders in April, 2011, it was obvious we were not doing the best job of communicating with our team. We decided to bring our leaders together for a retreat February 3-5, 2012.
Two churches, Parkview Christian Church, Orland Park, IL, and First Christian Church of Springfield,OH, agreed this was a needed time together and provided funding for the event. Thanks to them for their vision and generousity.
Attending were:
Ronaldo and Lucimei who lead the work in Sao Sebastiao
Santana who works with Ronaldo and Lucimei
Flavia who primarily works with the village preachers
Pacheco, and his wife Marinette, captain of the boat
Jander, and his wife Denize, who is coordinator of travel and purchasing of supplies in Manaus
Dr. William, and his wife Clelia, a Brazilian dentist who serves as a board member of our Brazil organization and has served 22 trips on the boat.
Marlon, and his wife Yara, who is a church planter in Goiania
David, a young Brazilian lawyer who is also an outstanding preacher
Lynn, and Julie Cleaveland, President of CBM
Earl and Ruth Anne Haubner, Field Director of CBM
Jander arranged for us to meet at the Amazonia Golf Resort, a beautiful setting about 40 miles east of Manaus. He searched for several months to find the perfect place.
Earl served as the facilitator and directed our activities.
David presented a series of four devotional messages that truly spoke to our hearts. Earl, Marlon, Flavia and Yara lead us in team building exercises that helped break down some barriers, build our sense of being a team, and improve communication.
I spoke two times. I thanked each one specifically on behalf of CBM supporters for their work and sacrifice. I impressed upon them the necessity of us working together to achieve our goal of winning people to Christ and establishing new churches in the Amazon villages. I spoke about some of the problems facing the team and gave them permission to respond as they desired. The formal interaction was great and carried over into informal discussions at meal times and around the pool.
Too soon it was time to leave. All of the leaders expressed deep feelings of gratitude saying they did not merit such treatment. All were renewed and revitalized for service.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of the retreat was the expression among the leaders that they need to do the same thing for the village preachers and their wives. I was thinking about that and was overjoyed when our leaders, without prompting, came up with the idea. We will help them facilitate a retreat for village leaders.