Friday morning I flew to Birmingham for BSF Europe’s Leader retreat. Marcia and I had booked the same flight but bought separately but our seats were next to each other!
On entering the Hilton Metropole we immediately recognized members of our online Leaders Group. They are real people now, not just tiny faces in boxes on screen! Some of them it seemed like we’d known for years. We’ve actually known them all of 4 weeks. There was a lot of hugging and exclamation 😁. About 10 of us sat down to lunch together in the bar. The Amman ladies had come in yesterday, and 700 BSF group leaders were pouring in before 5pm when it started.
Then in walks D, who I knew vaguely through Cheryl at the Tab just 18ish years ago! And we had a right old chat. Then hugs with a carload of my liverpool bunch.
We went for a nap, I’m rooming with Marcia, then I wandered downstairs and bumped into Carl and Julie! We had a LOT to share! I sat with Julie at dinner. On a table with folk from Prague, Paris, London and Zurich. (Paris women’s BSF has 8 groups including french, English and chinese language groups.)
She’s been busy! She now oversees two different chinese language BSF groups in Liverpool chinese church as well as her daytime group. And Liverpool has a men’s BSF. And bizarrely Carl is the Admin for Bristol Men’s group (via t’internet). Their girl is in year 6 and now attending CFS , the school George had one wonderful year in.
Then our first session. This weekend we are looking at 1st Colossians and spiritual maturity. We also had a live band, very loud but good.
After, I met loads more precious Liverpool ladies who have been my group leaders and friends over the years. How delightful, I knew some would come but I hadn’t considered how many!
Exhausted, Marcia and I retired to bed to snack on delicious things you can’t get in Nederland. For me, wotsits. For her, twiglets!
Then I had a bath. I haven’t had one in 2 months, I really miss them. It was lovely.