2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | Beauty

Posted on: February 17, 2014 Written by
2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | Beauty
    Photography by: Mary Ellen Payken      

DSC05158I am so thankful God chose to infuse our world with beauty. There are so many ways He chooses to reveal Himself through beauty in our world. The sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea is breathtakingly beautiful.02-17-14-RB-Beauty-3

Towering snowcapped mountains radiate beauty. Bright green palm trees and crashing waves reflect God’s beauty and point to a Creator. It’s not only in the natural world that I’ve noticed beauty since my arrival in Turkey. There’s an amazing variety of beauty shining in the faces of the volunteer team, portrayed in their gifts and deflected in the ways God has redeemed their stories.


DSCF8073Gathering with believers from around the world to worship God in a local church was another wonderful snapshot of beauty. Two women from our worship team helped lead the service this morning, which was a wonderful blessing for all of us.

It is my hope and prayer that as we welcome the international workers  they might see beauty in the wonderful hotel setting, in each other, in their lives, and in the volunteer team. I hope we be tangible evidence of His care for them. DSCF8084We hope to do that in many ways and this afternoon we prepared our pampering options for them. We’re getting ready to reflect God’s beauty!

©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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