I am posting these in backwards order so that those who are reading have only to scroll down. I think always of ease of reading and understanding for my readers. ;)
I am sure some of you know, but for those of you who don’t, I was away from home the last two-ish weeks visiting friends across the nation and attending a “camp” type program called Journey to the Heart. I hesitate to call it a “camp” because it is far more serious and deals with deeper issues than any other summer camp program I have heard of. It’s whole purpose is to help you seek God “with all your heart, soul, and mind.” It is through IBLP (if any of you have heard of Bill Gothard, or the ATI homeschooling program).
We (all attendees) arrived Saturday around noon, and before dinner attended a staff meeting where we listened to testimonies and began our Journey. (Mr. Gothard loves testimonies) A group of VIP ladies from Romania (the head of all the public schools, and another lady who was in the upper circle) spoke shortly (through a translator) about how they had been implementing things from the Basic Seminar and how they were going to work on translating and producing Mr. Gothard’s new “Lies We Believe” booklet for use in the public schools.
Sunday we went to a church service, and then we fasted over lunch (fasting from breakfast was optional, and we were informed ahead that fasting was planned) and listened to Mr. Gothard speak about things we were going to learn, or need, or find helpful.
Sunday night we watched an episode of the Duggar family’s Discovery TV program (they are an ATI family, and 4 of their oldest girls were in one team), and listened to further testimonies.
Monday we all dressed in our green shirts (or pink or white, depending on what team you were on) and had a final meeting with all the staff. A man who was translating the Basic Seminar into Arabic (yes, and working through all the different language groups/dialects involved) gave a testimony about his life as an oil worker. He was a pretty dynamic guy. Oil worker, bible college student, etc.
We then spent about 45 minutes out in the wind (it was not only cold, but overcast and windy) while chairs and sheets were set up, and while we were arranges, re-arranged, and arranged again for a group picture. I am not with my team, because my knee could not maneuver into the highly akward kneeling/sitting/twisted position necessary to be on the front row. Three of my group were eventually moved to the back row, and two of the other green team moved to the front row.
We then piled into vans and headed out on an 8 hour excursion up past Chicago, through Wisconsin, and finally to Watersmeet, MI. The Northwoods Conference Center is a lovely piece of ground owned by IBLP, which was redeemed from a past of Indian ritual and spiritism. Also, many of the Journey retreats find that cleansing from sin and finding freedom is something Satan fights against. It later became known that one of the girls had a family history of (and she herself used to dabble in) witchcraft. I became speedily inducted into a life of extreme spiritual warfare which I had not exactly believed existed. Many girls were sick, or felt like they were about to get sick. Much of the leaders times together was praying for their teams and binding the powers of iniquity (so we were told). I was pretty scared for a while. One of the girls on my team had a dark shape visit her every night for years. She could point to a spot in her room where it stood. Once, when I was writing out questions I had and issues I was working through, I began shaking. This had happened to me previously this year, and it usually became debilitating to the extent that I could no longer write. I asked Libby if it was because of bitterness in me, or anger, or some fear, and she figured it was an attack. When I write out things it helps me be able to process them more thoroughly, and it also gets them off of the slow-burner in the back of my mind. Libby said that it must be an attack to try to keep me stewing over them, or to keep my mind busy. That really got me scared, but I prayed (out loud) that Satan be bound, and the shaking slowly stopped. I am still scared by that. It did happen again twice, but when I prayed—it would stop.
Oh, and the part about being busy in your mind: The day that happened was Thursday; The Day of Delighting in the Lord. It was a day of fasting and searching out the scriptures. There was a big emphasis on quieting of the mind and being silent. Waiting for God. Really waiting. I have been working on that on the train and since I came home. It really is an exercise!! It is absurd how many things you remember when you try to be still. Peace, my soul, be still.