The Team departed on the 21st of August to head to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA for a day of prayer, the Word, and fun as they experienced what “Monastic Life”. is all about. The team began the morning with a twenty minute documentary talking about the progression of the Monastic Life. Afterwords, the team enjoyed a walk through the on campus museum to learn a little more about the heritage of the community.
Later in the day, the Colleagues were able to sit down with Brother Thomas, a monk of 64 years, as he shared about his life and journey. A missionary himself to places like, Africa, Nigeria, China, France, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Belgium, and Holland – he was very passionate about the study of scriptures, and living a contemplative life. Brother Thomas also found the vision and mission of Abante International interesting, and felt inspired to see young people dedicate nine months to God through discipling, education, and missions work.
He told the group, “Remember, you are part of the solution! Everyone is called to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and to love their neighbor as themselves. When you are serving Christ, you’re not wasting anything!”
“To be like God we must spend time with Him.” Brother Thomas
After the interview, and a great discussion over lunch, Beba Schlottmann (Co-Founder of Abante International) led the group in their first Discipleship Principal on knowing the Word of God. Beba shared on the practice of “Lectio Divina” – feasting on the scripture – and how we must stay intentional about placing the word of God in our hearts and lives. She also covered Inductive bible study, and biases we bring when we study the word. This echoed the heart of Brother Thomas when he said, “It isn’t always about seeking new theology books, and studying new religions. To be like God we must spend time with Him.”
The team spend some time working on their daily walks, and meditating on the word, alone and in complete silence around the monastery. The colleagues left the day with a greater understanding of the importance of the personal time they will have to spend with God over the upcoming months. ”We need intimacy with God. Intimacy on His terms says, ‘I love you just as you are. Now let’s go on a love journey…’” -Brother Thomas.