I’m going to the retreat in Romania next week.  I want to be honest with you.  I was going because I’m the regional leader and I wanted to show I support it, I think taking time out with the Lord like this is important so I wanted to make sure I was there.  Then I realised I needed to go, because I need to go!  
Many years ago when I was leading the work in Albania, I discovered the rich benefit of withdrawing from the every day things, ministry, friends, the urgent, everything, to be able to better focus and hear the one voice that really mattered.  All of us hear God on an ongoing basis as we seek to do what he calls us to do, but I found that every time I took real time aside I had such a different sense of connecting with God and somehow I was able to allow him the place at the centre of everything where He really needs to be. Its not so easy to spend time out of ‘our situation’ without the noise and the action, its not easy to tune your mind and spirit solely to God but it is so interesting what would happen at those times.   My perspective on so many things would change, things that seemed so pressing, or big, took on a very different perspective and I often saw them in a whole new light.  It often transformed what I thought I understood.  I have often encouraged other leaders to make sure they take these times apart: but mostly they feel they don’t have the time and won’t make the time, now there’s a wrong perspective!  
We as a CELT have run two retreats in the past for leaders and still very much want to see them happening and thanks to Hannes we have this one happening now.  Just so you’re clear I’m going to this retreat because I believe they are important and because I need to take some time out and focus on the one person that is most important in my life and my existence, what could be more important?
– Carmelita Clarke
YWAM CE Director