The Walk to Emmaus is a spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. The program's approach seriously considers the model of Christ's servanthood and encourages Christ's disciples to act in ways appropriate to being "a servant of all."

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Testimonial - Georgina Thornell - 26/6/2003
"Carpe Diem" Seize the Day!

That is the motto I try and live my life by each and every day that my Father in Heaven gives me.

I came to Emmaus expecting great things but had no idea of what exactly to expect. I felt like a little girl again eagerly awaiting my birthday resting in the knowledge that I would indeed be spoilt. Well, if truth be told, boy oh boy, nothing could have ever prepared me for the sheer awesome wonder of Emmaus.

There we were Thursday night all piled into the dining room after arrival, the energy some nervous but most exciting was pulsating in the room. I just knew that I was in for a good time.

We got off to a cracking good start with a gorgeous meal then marching off to the conference center we went 2 by 2, mind you. Oh my shattered nerves there before us was a row of people out to give us obviously the traditional Emmaus welcome, singing and clapping. I said to my new found friend, Lisa -
"Gee, I really feel like the President!!!!"

It is fair to say that from the outset the Praise and Worship just blew my socks off. The Amazing Muzzos were really too wonderful for words and boy we really used to thump it out - it was awesome.

The first evening went from a time of much fun and laughter to serious and rather challenging for me, as we were required after chapel to take a vow of silence ''til the morning. Challenging, I say because I generally have a lot to say about many things and also it''s always great fun when rooming with people you do not know to bond and have a little scandal. But God is good as I managed to uphold the vow, but made sure I used up my unused words the following day. Very early on Friday morning we shared in communion together, INTINCTURE STYLE! For me the process of dipping the bread into the wine made me feel at one with Christ as never before.

Now, I must tell you that I thought I was off to Emmaus for a sort of retreat where I would be able to take time out and rest my wear body. Well, surprise, surprise that was really not the case. But having said that, the lectures we attended daily by lay people and clergy were outstanding. I was so taken by the quality of each talk and all the time and effort that had gone into preparing each individual talk! My wonderful husband, Warren, who went on the weekend the week before I did, and I both found our eyes open to things that before we had known nothing about and if truth be told we were both like sponges taking in all we could and rejoicing in new found truth.

Now for a funny story!
Warren and I love each other dearly and as much as we are different we are very similar and therefore often share the same experiences. Picture if you will Friday morning after breakfast eagerly awaiting the start of the 1st lecture and boy did Warren and I get a wake up call of note! The first talk was titled PRIORITIES and honestly it hit us both between the eyes. Bang !!!!! Warren and I, it seems both suffered from a condition called Workoholism at the expense of most other things and I must say both of us came away from that particular talk not only spellbound but also having received a klap from our Heavenly Father suggesting that it was time to look at what was really important and prioritize! It was a sobering experience to say the least!

I could honestly be here all day but in fairness to you all I will attempt to be brief!

I wish to draw attention at this time to those things that I thoroughly enjoyed and believe are part and parcel of every Emmaus Experience. They include the new found friends, comaraderie, fellowship and the teamwork..

Those things that touched me the most include the clowns and their nails, all the work that went on behind the scenes, the very special Lay and Spiritual Directors and their wonderful team, the prayers from people around the world and of course let''s not forget the awesome gifts of agape love.

But, there are 3 particular highlights that I believe will stand out in my mind for all of time and strangely enough they were Warren''s highlights too and they seem to follow one after another.
On Saturday evening, it came time for our regular stroll up to the chapel by candlelight, which in itself was just beautiful for me. However nothing absolutely nothing could have prepared me for what was before us - there they were a choir of God''s Angels lining the way to the chapel along with the awesome candlelight! My first thought was that these people had come all this way to see and sing for me - that was it for me. The tears began to flow and flow and flow some more. When I saw folk I knew I got a lump in my throat and of course when I saw Warren I cried so much my glasses misted up so I couldn''t even see him. Oh my word, I have never been so moved in all my life as I was moved that evening and just when I thought it couldn''t get any better it did.

There before us lay a feast like I had never seen in my life before and the love that had gone into preparing that feast was so totally evident. I was completely dumbfounded and felt at the moment so cherished and so loved.

After much revelling late into the night,I went to bed looking most forward to what the new day would bring. But never would I have imagined that that we would see in the early morning with yet another unbelievable surprise! Les Maninnitas.
I was speechless and if truth be told I sat motionless for 5 minutes on my bed staring into nothing trying to comprehend what had just happened. Oh my……

God does indeed work in wonderful ways if you just give him opportunity in your life to do so. Both Warren and I consider it a privilege that we could
a) just do a walk
b) do it within a week of each other so together we could share in the joy of an Emmaus Walk and of course use the wisdom from the Walks to grow with each other and in Christ in all our Fourth days to come.

Thanks be to God. Amen!
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