The schools have opened today and last weekend was the last hurrah for most of the kids in my church. Everybody was back from visiting their relatives in far flung places, and just before they start on another year of school, we had our church retreat at Camp of the Woods, Albany.COTW is a Christian Retreat Centre in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake George.

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The cottages are named after native American tribes, some of them familiar, some very new (mine was Wichita). It was my very first time here, and I think I had a foretaste of heaven when I walked into my room that faced the beach front. The room basking in the warmth of setting sun rays streaming through the blinds, a pretty and clean beach to step out on to, strewn with nothing but the stars in the sky above, and a cosy room to retire for the night. What more can one ask for? Safety, scrumptious meals, quiet nooks and crannies – just the perfect setting to spend some time alone with God or with a group and have a spiritual renewal.

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The kids enjoyed the 18-hole miniature golf, and building sand castles on the beach. 11-month old Yohannan stepped into a pool for the first time in his life here. The teenagers went canoeing, and the guys of course played cricket. The campfire crackled with jokes and skits and songs and goodies from India were passed around while the moon shone serenely over this all. All this is in addition to the power packed sessions we had.

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I also got time to indulge in my love of photography, and time to stand in renewed awe at the vibrant ecstasy that only Nature, crafted by the Divine Creator can produce. How awesome it is of God to give us such a beautiful world. The Gospel of Matthew says, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” If this is what God gives us without asking, can you even imagine what He would grant us, if we asked according to His will? May God bless you in the seasons ahead.

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