China team(Copyright 2016)

The narrow valley floor between two steep mountain rock faces north of Beijing was the location for the first ever Chinese speaker couples’ retreat March 4-6. All five of our committed Chinese speaker couples were able to attend, squeezing the weekend in between their equally tight schedules. All of the couples attending live in the city of 20 million, and we came away to this remote, sparsely populated retreat lodge to rest and refresh. Three of the couples have been speaking with FamilyLife China for five years, but two couples were new additions to our speaker team in the last year. All have hectic schedules of international business travel and were already leaders serving in their churches and various ministries before they joined us. They have already blessed thousands who have heard them share their lives and marriage stories these past several years.

We longed to be able to give something back to these volunteers for their own spiritual, marital, and emotional growth, plus promote their bonding as a team. We were blessed to have a biblical counselor who speaks Mandarin fly in for the weekend. He taught us, led us in group discussions, and met with each couple personally for two hours. We also ate a lot, laughed hard playing silly games, enjoyed the fireplace, and let ourselves be ministered to for a change.

Some comments from the weekend:

“I am tired. I need this retreat this weekend.”

“This weekend was just for us personally.”

“Great weekend.”

“We bonded with each other so much more as a small group.”

“This was so helpful to us. This was a very smart decision to do this for our ministry here.”

“Good starting point for my husband and me to work on some of our own issues to which we were blind. It will help our talks too.”

“We had a breakthrough in our communication as a couple this weekend.”

The speaker retreat was an incredible success and provided much-needed rest, refreshment, and growth for our dedicated Chinese speaker team.