2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | Anticipation

Posted on: February 14, 2014 Written by
2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | Anticipation
    Photography by: Mary Ellen Payken      

DSC04752I have so long desired to attend a Thrive retreat as a volunteer that now the day has arrived, I can hardly contain my excitement! Having partnered with this ministry for a few years, it is humbling and exciting to finally be afforded the opportunity to go and serve at a retreat. After arriving in Antalya and getting settled into our rooms, my travel companions and I were greeted by a small group of Thrive staff and volunteers who had arrived a day before us. Smiles and hugs were passed around as good friends reunited and new friendships were born. I already love this group of women!

Our hotel is situated right across the street from the Mediterranean Sea and there is a lovely view from my room. It is exciting to know that we will be spending our time for this retreat in an area of the world that is so rich in our spiritual heritage – many of the early churches were established in this region of the world. The call to prayer sounds from the mosques multiple times a day, reminding me that those sounds are common to this region and will be familiar to many of the women who will be attending this retreat. This gives me a glimpse into their perspective.

Today was a bit of a free day for us as we prepare for the rest of the volunteers to arrive, and our training meetings will begin this evening. Words can not adequately express my excitement and joy at the opportunity to be here – I cannot wait to meet the retreat attendees and see how God chooses to abundantly bless each one of them this next week. Your prayers are appreciated more than you know!

Hannah
Retreat  Volunteer

©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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