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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Search Engine (10/06/11)

TITLE: Seekers
By Barbara Mahler


On an evening in early spring we came together as strangers – a group of fifteen women. Apart from some familiar faces we didn’t know each other. Yet we had come together – each of us having made a decision to trust that the meaningfulness of the twenty-six hour time commitment would be revealed as the weekend experience unfolded, but for the moment we were simply present.

We gained courage with each phase of the weekend as the presenters shared their faith journey. Inspired by their sharing we were drawn together as we shared our own stories in small groups. Prayer, tears and laughter drew us even closer. Sleep? Not too much; it wasn’t evident! But we were no longer strangers. We were now members of a sisterhood sharing an indescribable bond – one that seemed to just appear as the weekend evolved. And then it was over – with some participants choosing to end their quest at this point though admittedly “enriched and renewed” by their experience.

Twelve of us, however, decided to continue the journey. And we gathered once again to prepare to pass on what we had received to those who will experience a subsequent weekend.

Leaders patiently answered our many questions. “This is a process,” we were told, “not a popularity contest. You will discern and choose those among you who will be the presenters and leaders of the next weekend experience.”

I was not alone in my curiosity. “Who would emerge as presenters? Who would lead?”

The comfort zone of each of us was to be challenged as the events transpired.

“Are you a presenter, a leader – where do you see yourself?” the facilitator inquired as a large board was wheeled out and placed before us. A pie-shaped graphic labeled with the various areas of responsibility was painted on the board.

“Place your name in the area you would like to fill,” she said. Surveying our responses the facilitator called to our attention that no one had placed their name in the two leadership roles. “This is usually what occurs,” she reassured us.

Next we were directed to place the names of our sisters whom we believed could fill each service requirement. One by one, name by name and responsibility by responsibility the facilitator questioned us. She listened, answered more detailed questions and provided feedback.

This progression continued for several hours screening willingness or unwillingness until a designee was announced.

A scaled-down method continued in order to discern and select the two key leadership roles. “Are you willing to make the time commitment? Do you have the necessary skills and experience?” The facilitators questioned each candidate and solicited group feedback until our new leader was brought forth.

A sense of wonderment - an almost child-like joy became evident. The process – truly our witness to the presence of the Holy Spirit enabled us to overcome negativity and empowered us to grow beyond limits we had previously set for ourselves.

With God’s help we continue to journey with others as “Seekers” in His kingdom.

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This article has been read 306 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rachael Severa10/22/11
Your story sounds like this resembles somewhat of a womens retreat. I liked it.

I wasn't sure about it being on topic. Were you using the women "Seekers" as the search engine?

I noticed too, that you like to use hyphens. These are called m dashes. Try using your hyphen key "twice" after the word you want it to follow, and it should display correctly. Most Word Docs are set this way.

A few punctuation errors, but I enjoyed reading this. Good Job.
Linda Goergen10/24/11
It sounds like a deep and meaningful experience. Was the idea of using the ladies hearts and minds as search engines how you meant the topic here? Or was it the Holy Spirit? I wasn’t quite sure exactly how you meant the topic to be brought in. Sounds like it a blessed time the ladies spent together! Thanks for sharing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/26/11
This is a lovely testimony. The opening really drew me in. Although you talk about searching, you didn't really nail the topic search engine. Check the message boards for clarification if you need to. It was a nice message.
Jody Day 10/27/11
I can see that your connection to the topic was "seekers" and searching for presenters and leaders.

You did a good job of showing how meaningful this was to the participants.

Might be a little more effective if you had chosen one small area, or hour of the retreat, and peppered it with action.

Nice read:)
Colin Swann10/29/11
A very interesting story which I enjoyed very much - Thank you!
Beth LaBuff 11/01/11
Your opening paragraph, especially the "twenty-six hour time commitment" had me intrigued. I can sense this was a deeply intense experience for you and the process used to find the leaders was fascinating.