My God Hour - Feedback from Janine Ward, CCoH Training March 2011

My God Hour – CCOH, 5 March 2011

Walking around La Verna and following the Stations of the Cross, God spoke to me in the following ways, through things I picked up or saw along the way.

acorn – I am only a small acorn at this stage, but I can grow into a big oak tree. CABSA’s training is the starting point to planting a seed.



The creeping flower – the creeper may be weak on its own but if it holds onto a bush, it grows well and flowers beautifully. As channels of hope, we can “hold onto” the CABSA family and flourish. 

At this point there was a cross showing Christ falling, carrying the cross. Our journey will not be smooth – there will be times when we might stumble but we must persevere.

I also kept hearing doves calling from different trees – these are the calls for help from the many communities around us.


Fallen leaves – these represent the many lives that have been lost to Aids. The big leaf represents the adults we know, and the small leaf represents the children lost to Aids.

Here was also a cross showing Jesus comforting the women in Jerusalem. The pain of losing people we know and love to Aids is heavy, but we can draw our comfort from Jesus


 Networking – these seeds are each growing out in a different direction, but they all start from the same stem.

In the same way, we need to network and stay connected to each other through CABSA, so that although we may be in different parts of the world and do different activities, we remain connected in purpose.


Blooming flower – this symbolizes our successes and triumphs along the way. We should not be shy to celebrate these, as this is what motivates us to keep going.

The dogs came to bark at me through the fence as I walked past the staff quarters – this made me think of stigma and how society “barks” at people they see as different.


 Broken twig – symbolizes Christ’s crucifixion. He died for us all. It also reminded that me that we are the broken body of Christ.

Throughout the walk, I could hear the long repetitive call of the Crested Barbet. This reminded me that God is always with us, we can hear Him all the time if we stop to listen.


Pine buds and a feather– the pine buds symbolize new life, the feather symbolizes hope (just as Noah found hope in the olive branch that was carried back to the ark by the bird), and I picked these up just after the cross that showed Christ’s resurrection.

We have new life and hope in the risen Christ.




As I ended my God hour, I came back to the training room walking alongside the Vaal River. In Psalm 23 God “leads us by the quiet waters” and He promises to stay with us throughout even the valley of the shadow of death – His rod and His staff shall comfort us.

What a promise and what strength we can gain from that!

Janine Ward
La Verna Retreat Centre, Gauteng
CCOH training
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