Fifty Disciples Men from as far away as St. Joseph, Kansas City, Holliday, Centralia, and Boonville made it to the deep, luscious Ozarks of Shannon County for a wonderful, spiritual weekend, May 5-7, 2017. The sun shone brightly and the fresh spring air made retreat activities refreshing. Much devastation was discovered in places like Eminence, which is just a part of the flooded area that our offerings to Week of Compassion help. Men at the retreat did their part in completing service projects to help Shannondale Mission continue its service to families in the community.
Word had spread on how great the retreat is and a number of men in their 20's came this year. Real Talk, a mission to African American youth in University City also spread the word about their positive experience being invited for the third straight year. The number of those who asked and could come with them doubled as well. Though much of the Ozarks National Scenic Riverways was closed due to flooding, the Ozark Trail was open for a nice adventurous hike and the gorgeous new Echo Bluff State Park, just down the road from Shannondale, provided very comfortable respite as well. We hope many more Disciples Men will make it a priority to attend next year's gathering.
Men from the Disciples Men Retreat reconvened on Tuesday, May 9 to help with flood cleanup at Rockhaven Ecozoic Center in House Springs, MO, a nonprofit retreat center. Water from the Big River entered Turtle Lodge at a depth of more than a yard, ruining everything on the lower level, though everything that could be raised had been raised off the floor.
Thanks to Rev. Dr. Paul Koch for this story and photos.