2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | Love and Grace

Posted on: February 20, 2014 Written by
2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | Love and Grace
    Photography by: Mary Ellen Payken      

02-21-2014-RB-Love and GraceOver the past five years I have been serving in western Ukraine with a small church plant. The passion and primary focus God has given me is discipleship. Discipleship for women in the church to know and fulfill their God ordained purpose. Discipleship for teens to know God’s saving love for them. Discipleship for those desiring to know English to learn of Him and place their faith in Him as Savior and Lord.

I came to this retreat based on a commitment I made to myself to establish better patterns of rest and refreshment during my second term. My expectations were to come to know God in new way and to hear something special from Him. My expectations have been met! It began with the morning teaching from Luke 15. This story revealed to me in a deeper way that God’s love and grace goes hand in hand and compels Him to action. My life will be impacted only when I have accepted His love and grace fully.

During my time here, God has showered His love and grace on me by telling me that I am a beloved daughter who is fearfully and wonderfully made. He has shown me the depth of a Father’s love through His word. He has also, rained down His love and grace for me practically through the hugs, smiles, and warm words. Through gifts from afar and self care options I enjoyed. Through all of this, I feel that God is bringing out the more vibrant, brilliant me – spirit, mind, body and soul. I am truly blessed to me here! The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Retreat Attendee

 ©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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