Thursday, August 5, 2010

Westhaven Men's Retreat June 11th

It was like taking ice to Eskimos - taking music to Newfoundland. We arrived at this beautiful old church camp retreat centre late on the Friday evening with our trailer full of drums. First we cadged a late dinner from the kitchen staff, then we followed the music to the hall.

All across the front of the hall was a long row of musicians - guitars, fiddles, an accordian, a mandolin, a keyboard, harmonica, more guitars drummers. Before long they had us up adding to the rhythm.

Some of these guys had been coming to this annual retreat for over twenty years. They came from all corners of Newfoundland to be there on the west coast together. A group always travelled from Cape Breton - bringing their latest songs to share and trade.

Bazza said the spirit there reminded him of his visit to Angola. "Must be because this is the closest you can get to Angola in Canada."

It was an amazing weekend. Saturday night that row of performers at the front became a big circle of fifty guys all joining into the Rhythm of Generosity. Music is such a big part of that retreat that it wasn't hard to get everyone joining in and going with the spirit of the drum circle.

Sunday morning communion on the beach was an intimate sharing of these men's love of their Lord and Saviour - the one who sacraficed all - who gives us the courage and strength to make those daily sacrafices - in His service. Each man gave a word of thanks in turn, passed the bread and cup around, and then danced an offering onto our makeshift wooden altar.

What an amazing way to start our tour of Newfoundland. We made friends there that we later connected with back at their home churches - by the time we got there they'd heard about these Dondi drummers with their vanload of percussion on their way...

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