Why We Go – A blog post for Thrive Advocates

Posted on: January 17, 2014 Written by
Why We Go – A blog post for Thrive Advocates
    Photography by: Linda Swanson      

In just less than a month, the next Thrive Retreat will convene in the Middle East. Thirty-two volunteers are confirmed to go and serve the almost 70 attendees who are registered. Why do we go? Listen to these women share their excitement!

DSCF4040Diane Coleman: I love serving with Thrive because it is such a blessing to me and to the women who attend. I love helping to provide a truly safe retreat for those on the front lines, holding their stories in my heart, and petitioning the Father on their behalf. They return to the field refreshed and revived and I return home full of gratitude for their service to the Kingdom and with a deeper view of God’s worldwide redemptive plan.

Mary Ellen Payken: Serving as a volunteer with Thrive has given me a new glimpse of God’s heart and hand actively at work in the lives of those who carry the Good News to the uttermost parts of the earth. It has been an incredible journey, just showing up at the retreat venue, serving where needed, and seeing how God has graciously purposed each encounter, so that His personal ministry can be poured into each woman who attends, meeting each at a point of deep need. It is a beautiful picture of the many parts of the body at work – serving, receiving and delighting in the unity of His fellowship.

Jill Seifried: My support and commitment as a Thrive volunteer over the years stems from my past experience as a global worker and pastor’s wife. My heart for encouraging women who are devoted to Jesus through serving Him overseas makes the Thrive opportunity to pour out love in practical ways to them a perfect match!

DSCF4108Gail Obenour: I am always amazed by the story of how God brought all of the women together from all over the world- to serve and to attend. It’s like a party/celebration of being loved by God.

Carol Anne Griffith: I love greeting the women when they arrive at the hotel and witness their excitement and anticipation of the days ahead. They come weary and often discouraged–how wonderful to see God meet their needs and the change this brings to their countenance!

Linda Swanson: Why do I go? Because I believe that caring for these women in the region where they live and serve will help them be effective in life and ministry. What they are doing is so important! Coming alongside them is such a privilege and honor. I always receive more than I give, I always learn so much and come home challenged to love the Lord with all my heart!

 

©2014 Thrive.

 

 



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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