Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.  But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again’ – John 4:13.  Over 250 women answered the call to come away for a weekend to receive the ‘Living Waters’ promised to the woman at the well by Jesus.  Dry and thirsty, we trekked the path, like the Samaritan woman, to sit at Jacob’s well with Jesus.
Philip and Jennie Ryall took us on a journey from desert to overflowing.  On the Friday night we were invited to spend the next 40 hours with Jesus – allowing Him to break down our barriers, the dams that create blockages in our lives like unforgiveness and negative ways of thinking and feeling; to lift the veils of anxiety, turmoil, oppression, indifference, dejection, insecurity and low self-esteem and let Jesus in.  ‘My dove is hiding behind the rocks, behind and outcrop on the cliff.  Let me see your face; let me hear your voice.  For your voice is pleasant and your face lovely’.  (Song of Songs 2:14)
Amanda’s testimony spoke to us about letting go of the past and following Jesus:  ‘Rise up my darling! Come away with me my fair one.  Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone…..’. (Song of Songs 2: 10 -13).  From that moment we were being romanced by Jesus inviting us to drink deeply of His love and life giving water.  The music team lead us in songs of worship as we were ushered into the Throne Room of God where we experienced the presence of God and a foretaste of the Sounds of Heaven.
Fr Neil Vaney sm led us through a renewal of our baptismal vows followed by a prayer of gratitude.  We were shedding our old self and becoming all that that God has for us, like a butterfly freed from the cocoon. Then it started – the wedding waltz.  On the screen appeared a full orchestra, and dancers resplendent in beautiful white gowns.  We danced, laughed and cried with Jesus as we left our past behind and looked into the eyes of pure love.
Filled to overflowing, we were reminded that only through time spent with Jesus, being filled, could we fill other.  Jesus is the source of our spring within.  Time spent with Him ensures that we never thirst and that others are able to drink from our overflow.  With a quenched thirst and rivers of live giving water flowing through us we ended our weekend by the well ‘As fresh water brings joy to the thirsty, so God’s people rejoice when He saves them’. (Isaiah 12: 2-3)  The weekend was completed with celebration of Eucharist by Bishop Pat Dunn (Dove National Chaplain) and Fr Neil.
Special thanks to Philip, Jennie and Amanda who came from Sydney to share their lives and passion for living daily in God’s presence and leading us to the well to drink deeply of God’s love.  Thank you also to Fr Neil, our chaplain for the weekend, for being a constant source of God’s love to us.