Our first two lessons were "Who is the Holy Spirit?" and "What does the Holy Spirit do?" After that we had a discussion time together. Besides talking about the Holy Spirit, we discussed the idea of a conversion experience and I told them some about my story. We came back again and again to the idea that this life Jesus offers them really is about life and not rules or being a good person, a concept they and others here are very very slow to understand.
After the discussion, we sent them off to reflect. I gave them some questions to think about in case they didn't know what to do during that time, and it was sweet to see them all thinking and writing (we had given them pens and notebooks as part of a pack of retreat presents). At the end of that time, my housekeeper said to me, "Everything I wrote was from the heart." The visiting South America Mission summer team (college age people) fixed and ate lunch with us and afterward played volleyball out on the beach with the group. I think it was a good time for the Alpha people to connect with other Christians than Tim and I and to see that they could have fun together. They were "in."
After volleyball (during which I napped!) we watched the lesson on "How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?" We ended the retreat after the video with a time of prayer. We let them pray on their own for a while and then went around and asked each of them how we could pray for them (and did it). Three of them were in tears by the end of it, the guy in the front of the photo included. Based on what he's said and the changes we have seen in him, I'm pretty confident that he's made a decision to leave his life of drugs, parties, and self and to follow Jesus. Remarkable.
After the retreat, we went directly to the Comunidad worship service, which the Summer Team was "putting on" while they're here. Mr. Front of the Photo came along, his first time I think. It was neat to see how his connection with the Summer Team during the day made a bridge for his to come to the service. We sang "Mighty to Save," which we've done in Alpha and he knows, and then Cesar spoke for a moment on Galatians 5 (dealing with the Holy Spirit). Coincidence? No. I was in tears myself thinking of how precious this God is that He orchestrates all things for His purposes and was using all these fun ways to reach out to my neighbor.
We are exhausted but so happy. I find it surprising every day that God would let even me be part of this and see people's lives being transformed.