3 Retreats, 3 Churches, and a Prison

Adventures of the Heart

It was my privilege to be part of two retreats in the past several months. The first was called Adventures of the Heart (AOTH), and was held in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It was led by our friend Reese Bricken and our son Linus Jr. The emphasis was on discovering the heart of God and renewing our hearts as men (yes, it was an all men conference, sorry ladies…but there are Adventures of the Hearts retreats for women too). There were lots of activities like clay pigeon shooting, horseback riding, a jeep ride over the Continental Divide—but there were also powerful sessions on connecting our hearts with the heart of God.

Reese and Linus Jr. Clay Shooting.

Some of the themes included (my paraphrases):

  • Awakening our Hearts and Discovering the Heart of God
  • Entering into the Larger Story
  • Addressing the Wounds and Lies that Come Against Us
  • Learning to Hear God Speak to Your Heart
  • And more.

The AOTH website sums it up well: “Men who participate in the Adventure Expeditions find that it is unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. It is not a typical church retreat, nor is it an informational seminar. It is time away from day-to-day life that is focused around men drawing closer to God with other men who want real life.”

It was a powerful retreat. I’d love to have you join me next year. If you are interested in knowing more check out their webpage: adventuresoftheheart.org.


The second retreat I was part of was called Traction. I was part of the staff for some 50+ missionaries in difficult places. Traction was led by Daniel Hahn with a goal of helping the men attending (yes, it too was an all men’s retreat…but there is also a retreat for women called Thrive, and another for families called Breathe). Each day began with reflections from the life of David, followed by small groups, and then one-on-one counseling sessions each afternoon.

Traction Staff (I think I was yodeling, as we were in Switzerland)

TRACTION focused on issues like:

  • Managing stress, isolation, and opposition
  • Reconnecting with God
  • Cultivating the character of authentic leadership
  • Honoring God with our sexuality
  • Persevering with courage and trust in the face of challenges
The week included worship, teaching, debriefing and counseling, medical consultation, outdoor activities, and personal reflection in one of the most spectacular natural settings on earth, near Interlaken, Switzerland. If you know missionaries living in a difficult place who might be interested in Traction, Thrive, or Breathe, check out catalystintl.org.
All my small group members gave permission to be photographed.
Crossroads Ferney
In between the two retreats I had an opportunity to speak at the church Sharon and I were part of planting in Ferney-Voltaire France, just across the border from Geneva Switzerland. It was joyous to be back and see the hundreds of people in attendance, including a number who came to know Jesus during our time there. Literally thousands of people have been impacted by the Crossroads Ferney as they have rotated through Geneva to work and study.
Worship at the Crossroads…the world has come to Geneva (No, that’s not me with the white hair).
It was also joyous to stay with friends the Lowes and Vannatters, as daugther Kristin, son-in-law Cory, granddaughter Monika, and Sharon were with me until dropping me off for the Traction retreat.
Monika, Cory, Kristin, and Sharon…Wow, each generation of women is getting taller (or shrinking).
Wait… That’s only two retreats and one church!

What about the other retreat, the two churches, and the prison? Thanks for noticing.

I am in Prague at present, helping coach a church plant, as well as ministering in the notorious Pankrác Prison. I fly next to Madrid to speak in another church service, and co-lead a retreat for church planters before heading home. I will write about the other two churches and the prison in our next On Expedition update.

The two retreats so far have had powerful impacts on those attending…so has the Crossroads Church. Please pray for our times in Prague and Madrid…and for Sharon while I am away.

Thanks for being part of all this with us.

Because of and by His grace,

Linus and Sharon

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