Staff Conference & Anniversary Retreat

by John Poysti - Director

Most of the longer-term Holsby staff attended the Torchbearer Staff Conference at Capernwray Hall the last week of June. Every four years, the worldwide Torchbearer staff gathers at Capernwray in England for a time of teaching, worship, fellowship and sharing of ideas. This year, the featured speaker was Pastor Richard Dahlstrom from Seattle, who taught from the book of Acts. His teaching was both inspiring and practical. With over 300 in attendance, it was a wonderful week that went by all too quickly.

Holsby staff at Capernwray 2013

Holsby staff at Capernwray 2013

Our General Director, Chris Thomas, was re-elected for another four-year term, which will be his last before retirement. Each of the 26 centers worldwide gave a report of the progress and challenges in ministry. The health of the Torchbearers family is strong, and there was a definite sense of optimism and hope about the future.

In my report to the other participants, I shared the following:

“Holsby is turning 40 this year. It’s a great milestone and a clear indication of God’s goodness and blessing. Now, it would seem that with so many years under our belt, we would have already answered the question of “Why do we do what we do? Why Holsby?” But a few months ago our leadership team met for an offsite retreat and we spent most of our time considering just that question: “Why Holsby?” We know what we do: we present the life of Christ to a dying world. We know how we do it: we disciple young people through the teaching of God’s Word and modeling a holy life. But why do we do it??”

I went on to explain how we came up with a very simple but important conclusion. We do what we do, because Jesus changes lives! That is the “why” of Holsby – the fact that, by His grace, Jesus transforms the lives of staff, students and guests during their time at Holsby. And for the last 40 years, we have had the privilege of seeing so many lives radically changed by the indwelling Son of God.

This next week, we will be hosting a 40th anniversary retreat here at Holsby. All of the former directors will be participating: Fred and Sharon Wright, Wally and Donna Schoon, Ulf and Eva Andersson, and Ric (Keli) Schoon. The theme of the retreat and the teaching will be, of course!!: “Jesus changes lives.” Former staff and students from Norway, Germany, Sweden, Canada, United States, Austria and Poland are among the participants. We expect it to be a great week of celebration of God’s goodness in the past, and of our hope and faith in His continued blessings in the future.

By God’s grace, in the next 40 years of Holsby’s history, we will continue to see many lives changed by Jesus for His glory. Jesus changes lives!

John Poysti - Director

About John Poysti - Director

Life is good, because God is good! I can’t think of anything more fulfilling in life than to observe God transforming people more and more into the likeness of Christ, and as a result being transformed yourself – that is kingdom living at its very best. Holsby has provided me with a unique opportunity to invest in the youth of this generation as I draw on a lifetime of God’s grace and mercy with which He has blessed me. My life is further enriched by some key relationships. Christine is my best friend and faithful companion in life. And we have three beautiful daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law and four fantastic grandsons who bring us more joy than we could ever deserve. Currently, I find relaxation through reading theological blogs, riding my mountain bike on forest trails, keeping my woodshed stocked and tidy, and picking or gathering whatever is edible in the forests around Holsby.

15. July 2013 by John Poysti - Director
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