This short write up is a comic side of the weekend trip (Apr 16), so I won’t elaborate on other aspects (which Stacey has already covered in the blog “KC Retreat: “One of the Best Weekends of My Life””). Well, I’ll try and paint it briefly in words, wit it in a story fashion that will entertain, giggle you to laughter without losing sight of our fellowship cordiality.
On the eve of the trip, Syl sets the tune. I knew what he must have been thinking lol. He sent a message via the WhatsApp group to steer everyone up, lift our spirits and reminded us on the reasons for the weekend away, the need to be open, learn, laugh and enjoy each others company and fellowship. The responses affirmed the readiness and I was sure a bliss awaits us in the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”. This bible verse is beautiful and I did experienced it, so I thought that feeling is worth sharing.
It’s not the sort of feeling you get on a beach at a resort holiday, nope! It was the unexpected and explainable excitement that accompanied firstly the euphoria of escaping the busy London, the initial delight of a clean air and unspoiled views, the beautiful landscape and more. “Menh, countryside beckons” I wish you can say that with a Nigerian accent, that would have tingled you into laughter already. Oh, the memories are rolling back!
The unscripted jokes were nothing short of perfect and had many people laughed their head off. I saw people laughing in the aisles, either on jokes or on characters. Everyone expressed themselves, the impersonators, the kitchen jokes, the fun games, hens-character crowing early in the morning! It was nice. It was fun. It was similar to the feeling of Xmas, I mean the joy of seeing love ones return home.
As I haven’t had such experience of ‘weekend retreat with strangers’ before, I was very optimistic about the trip, the opportunity to fellowship with like-minded brethren, the chance to ask questions about God centered and authored relationships, kingdom focus etc. and of course the ‘maybe chance’ of meeting the bride haha. Do I have a witness in the house? Lol.
OK. Let’s get to it. It’s now 7:30pm on Thursday the 22nd of April. About 15 housemates have assembled in the house. The introduction and welcoming was similar to the Big Brother reality show. We greeted each other firmly and had catch up small talks before the first introductory teaching section. During the section, we identified 7 struggles of singleness and the last one unleashed the comedy scene. It was called ‘Circle of Rejection’. I had cheekily and hilariously painted a scenario where A likes B but B is not interested, however B likes C. Unfortunately, C doesn’t like B but likes D and the worse part of the chain is that D is not interested in any of them. We discussed details of how a Christian should manage such scenario in a comic style. The laughter became uncontrollable when Esther, Linda and myself grouped up and started using real names starting with A, B, C and D to illustrate lol. Amazing! Trust me, it was fun. We even dramatized a scenario where these characters work in different units in church and informed their pastor who they secretly admired. While the pastor was excited to follow up and find out from each person what God has been telling them regarding relationship, no matches was revealed lol.
The laughter and group discussion set the bonding straight away. Everyone interjects in each others topic (assigned group point to discuss) and offered some solutions, with of course bible references. We agreed on ‘knowing your true identify in Christ’ as paramount thump up rule to win ‘defeat’. Seeing yourself as God sees you and understand that as God’s chosen people, royal priesthoods, nothing can separate you from His love and therefore if someone isn’t interested in you, nothing should steal your joy, knowing that the right person for you will come. We suggested saturating your mind with the truth of God’s Word as it is filled with reminders of His unconditional love for you. He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35). So, don’t let one guy or one babe steal your identity. You are God’s masterpiece. Believe it!
OK. Let’s get back to jokes. If A & C happens to be friends, you as A should detach from comparisons and needless analysis of why B doesn’t like you and admire C instead. It’s human for A to think he’s got it all – a medical doctor, six packs, 6.2 tall, good looks, holy-spirit led. You know the dream of every woman – tall, dark and handsome. And then compare himself with Mr C (who is neither tall, dark nor handsome) to understand why beautiful Miss B isn’t interested in him but C. ‘Be happy for them’, says Pastor Bayo who added some advice on the scenario the following morning.
Oh, what a night! Most people went to bed around 2:30am.
The following morning, we had morning exercise session at 7am. A few of us jogged around and had a good laugh at it. The session was led by Jenny and Dave. We did a few push-ups, jump squats, lunges, sprint etc. Guys, you should have seen Stacey cheating and we caught Maame-Esi a few times too lol.
At breakfast, I noticed everyone was already bonded. The house became home. Jokes were then flying up and down. Jenny was the best impersonator. I had used the lyrics phrase ‘Let it go’ by Idina Menzel as the last solution to ‘circle of rejection’ scenario and remixed it with Nigerian accent. Jenny picks on me and demonstrated her God-given impersonator talent. Dave the mastermind comedian added shades of different colours to keep everyone entertained.
Breakfast went well and shortly afterwards we assembled for the first teaching section. Esther is a talented lady, menh. She led the praise and worship and I noticed everyone dancing steps:
Melissa is a stepper.
Sly understands his moves.
Maame-Esi, Dave and Deji kept their glance at me as I can’t resist dancing tunes.
The section went well and I can tell people were genuinely happy to fellowship and praise God.
It was nearly Lunch time and we had a chance to play a few games. Talking about food, wow! Food was special and divine. The chef’s amongst our group were fantastic. So, before second teaching section, we played a game called ‘concentration’. e.g. names of countries in North America, names of London Tube Stations, names of Books in the Bible, countries in Africa etc. This game was fun and competitive but pressure intense as stalling was not allowed. Deji nailed it a few times especially on Bible Books. Stacey was particularly good with Tube stations especially Victoria Line routes. Guys, if you want to meet Stacey, try Victoria Line lol. Dave is a master of cartoons. Rose nearly get away with ‘1st Philippine’. Maame-Esi claimed Greenland is a country in Europe. Someone said Oxford Street is a Tube Station (sorry it’s Oxford Circuit). Mexico was disallowed as a country in North America. Pressure! Pressure!! Pressure!!!
Shortly after lunch, we got back to Day 2 second teaching. There was a brief discussion on the 5 love languages and I observed everyone was asking ‘intentional questions’ lol. ‘What’s your love language’? Wale got us confused as his love languages appear to be all five. Also, it appears the guys were really intentional with their questions, so ‘hitting their targets’ can be more strategic lol.
Day 2 went pass so quickly and so was Day 3. There were some funny moments in the kitchen too. I was trying to de-frozen a cube slice of butter to prepare mushrooms when someone noticed me and the spark of laugher humbled me lol, as I would normally consider myself a great cook. So, I carefully paid attention to how Bisola did her cooking magic, the freestyling of making an English breakfast. Between Freddie and Syl, one of them engulfed the kitchen with smoke as they make toast bread. That must have been a great relief to a guy who overdosed the slice of butter for mushrooms lol.
Overall, the Retreat helped me to strengthen friendship. It also helped me to study the Word, not just reading the Word. We were asked to study Genesis 24, the story of Isaac and Rebecca ahead of the trip for a quiz competition. Although we didn’t have the quiz eventually, it was interesting to see how the dating process have changed significantly from Abraham generation to our grandparents’ time and now to ours and hilariously (during dinner) we foresaw what it would look like in 300 years, if Jesus tarries lol.
On Saturday night after dinner, the last night in the house, it was supposed to be a movie night. But only Damien, myself and Josephine were watching. Jenny joined intermittently too. Majority were in a group long conversation discussing random stuff and got stuck with what each person want in their partner. Menh, the struggle of finding love is real, lol. A 30 minutes description per head lol. I was like wow, slow down people! Until the following day when returning to London and those of us in the same car posed same question to Melissa and guess what… she’s got a 4 pages checklists, then I give up lol.
This comedy flip side of the Retreat is aimed to be kept short, so I’ll save you the rest. I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time, keep smiling and remember God loves you. I do too.
By Kola A (KC Man)