By: Oliver Noll

Every year the Shehaqua community gathers for the Winter Retreat at Camp Innabah to start the New Year off the right with family and friends. The theme "Live the Dream" set the tone for the whole workshop of approximately 130 participants. We wanted to focus on creating a heart of readiness for the new era approaching on D-Day. Since Cheon Il Guk is Father’s dream, we wanted to take the necessary steps to make it a reality this year.


Throughout the workshop, the community had time to prepare for an amazing 2012 through a series lectures and fun activities. We had multiple age groups which benefited from a variety of material, thanks to Mike Diamond and Crescentia DeGoede excellent organization! They did an amazing job in bringing relevant and spiritual guidance throughout the workshop. The Middle School kids were taught by Victor Servito and Kester Wilkening, two superstars in DP education. Justin Noll and Yuri Palhof impressed everyone by taking care of the young elementary age children during a 7 day fast. There were a number of experienced guest speakers for the High School and Young Adult age groups, which provided a variety and depth that inspired many: among them were Gerry Servito, John Williams, Rick Swarts, and Jim Stephens.

The education was complimented by a range of fun activities organized by Teo Wilkening. From an exhilarating Volleyball tournament to a unifying family challenge we saw the camp come together and create that essential element that keeps us coming back together every season!

Gregg Noll pioneered another health retreat with close to 30 participants. He has invested in creating a healthy external to the vibrant internal in the Shehaqua community. In seemingly direct contradiction to this, we had delectable gingerbread houses made with sweets and mouth watering creativity.

At midnight on January 1st everyone gathered for a prayer at a bonfire. Although God’s day has been moved, New Year’s still demands a certain respect and reflection on its own. Afterwards some of the more energetic folks stayed afterwards to sing in the new years for a few hours. Songs ranged from camp favorites to pop hits. The following morning saw close to 200 people gather for merry making and joy, sharing their favorite dishes from home in one massive potluck. As always, it was a pleasure and joy to be a part of such an undertaking. The beauty and joy produced by so many with pure hearts will always shine as a beacon of light during the year. We hope to see you and your family in the spring!

Can't wait to see everyone again at the Shehaqua Spring Gathering!

Oliver Noll
Syracuse University
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