2013 SE Asia Retreat | Our guests arrive!

Posted on: October 13, 2013 Written by
2013 SE Asia Retreat | Our guests arrive!
Photography by: Mary Ellen Payken from iStock          

DSC00997Today’s post written by Thrive Volunteer, Karol Evans

Finally, we get to meet the attendees for the first retreat today! What emotions are they feeling as they anticipate being with us? Nervousness? Anxiety? Doubt? Have they been overwhelmed while caring for the details of extracting themselves from “real life” for a few days?

DSC00459I arrived a few days before the attendees but with many of those same emotions. Just as the waves wash up on the beach two blocks from our hotel, so have these waves of emotions: “Oh my goodness! What have I agreed to participate in?” “Will my family be OK in my absence.”

There have been many details of preparation for the retreats. While getting acquainted and bonding with each other, our 19 member volunteer team has been preparing for the retreats. We assembled 80 gift packages with seven items in each; I learned how to give a pedicure when I have never had one myself or given one to someone else! Part of the training has been learning where I need to be during the retreats as I facilitate an affinity group, a small group that will meet six times, and a prayer group. Now I need to remember all these details and it feels like waves rolling in!

Today is the day for me to surrender all these waves to the only One who can calm the water. I can let go and let His hands work in and through me. He will greet each women with a loving welcome through our team. He will offer the gift of His presence to all who come. He will hear the name of each woman lifted to Him. And He will respond to each as teacher, healer, and encourager. I choose to rest in Him. My prayer is, “Lord, establish the work of our hands, yes establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17b)

About the author

Linda Swanson serves with Paraclete as a member care provider, retreat speaker and spiritual director. She comes alongside global workers to help them be effective in life and ministry. Via Skype, Linda provides spiritual direction for global workers. With her husband, Kevin, Linda served for 28 years with MAF, both overseas as a pilot/mechanic family and at headquarters in administration and member care. During eight of those years, she helped direct Fairhaven Ministries, a retreat center for clergy and global workers. Now, Linda lives in Englewood, New Jersey where her husband is a pastor with the Evangelical Covenant Church. Their two children are married and they have two grandsons.

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