Regional and national retreats held by Olivet Assemblies around the world overflowed with grace as members and Bible students came together to listen to God's Word, pray and have fellowship. The themes of the seasonal retreats, which are typically held in July and August each year marking the summer break in the Global North and winter break in the Global South, focused on a range of topics and books of the Bible that help listeners deepen their faith and their understanding of God.
In Latin America, churches from across the continent held a joint online retreat with a Spanish and Portuguese track. Messages focused on the book of Galatians, in which the Apostle Paul sharply explains the difference between a works-based faith that holds onto human efforts versus the unconditional grace-based faith in Jesus Christ. As an extension of the studies of the book of Romans that details the path of salvation emphasizing that "a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law" (Romans 3:28), the letter to the Galatians includes the Apostle Paul's personal testimony about his own path of faith as a Pharisee who zealously followed the law but came to realize that "no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because 'the righteous will live by faith.'" (Galatians 3:11)
In Europe, retreats were held in a number of countries with some holding in-person or hybrid retreats and others hosting online gatherings across several nations. Ukraine and Moldova together with several countries from the CIS region (Commonwealth of Independent States) focused on messages introducing the life of Jesus Christ through the four gospels, under the theme "I am the way and the truth and the life" inspired by John 14:6.
And in the Asia Pacific region, an online retreat brought together members and newcomers to study the four Spiritual Laws of Creation, Fall (Sin), Salvation and the Heavenly Kingdom. Regularly reviewing the four main themes of the Bible helps lay a strong foundation of faith in people's hearts and lives and reminds them of the ultimate dream of God's Kingdom here on earth. Just like Jesus said in Luke 17:20-21: "The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is in your midst." It begins in every person's life as they listen to the Word of God and come to meet God deeply and personally, and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and then live a life following Jesus' example.
Many other countries also held retreats that are always times that overflow with grace as God's truth brings love and peace into the hearts of listeners. The Bible studies were followed by fellowship, prayer and sharing among participants where they can testify about how God has worked in their lives and how He has spoken to them through His Word.
May all participants keep the grace well and continue to grow in faith as they seek to follow God and apply His Word in their lives wherever they are.