2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | Farewell

Posted on: February 22, 2014 Written by
2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | Farewell
    Photography by: Mary Ellen Payken      

DSC06973Our Retreat Attendees are on their way home, but not without leaving words of thanks. Here is a sampling of their gratitude for all God did for them while they were with us.

This retreat has been everything plus much more than my weary soul needed. I arrived worn out and feeling “flat” in my relationship with God and others. I was serving out of duty rather than out of an overflowing of His Spirit. Being here has been a breath of fresh air for my soul. Simply to come as I am and be in the presence of my Father has filled my heart again with the closeness and joy I long for. Thank you so much for making it possible for me to be here! Tricia

Thank you so much. I had forgotten the joy of singing with other women in my heart language, English. I cried as I was prayed over while my hair was cut. I cried again as they prayed for me while doing a pedicure. You have refreshed my soul to know I am not alone as I leave two children in America this next summer as I return to my country of service. May you see bountiful fruit from your gift to us. My heart is free to serve. My faith that it IS worth it was renewed. May Jesus bless you.  –An Attendee

So appreciate the intentionality in loving us in many different ways, feeling very cared for and refreshed. Thank you!  –Judith

Thank you!!! This has been an AMAZING time of encouragement and being uplifted. The gifts, the pampering, worship, and encouragement mean MORE than I can say.  –Christina

Such thoughtful, tangible blessings. It feels so good to be remembered by folks at “home.” blessings to you!  –Amy

Mary Ellen and I have enjoyed bringing this retreat blog to you. Here is her reflection of the retreat:

Following the departure of our guests, gratitude overflows to our Faithful Father who has so generously poured His grace into the vessels of the volunteers. These lovely women ministered with hearts full of prayer, mercy, compassion, listening ears, open hearts, soothing hands, authentic smiles, and souls willing to share in the sufferings of Christ, using their gifts to pour grace into the attendees. The team has been a beautiful picture of Christ-centered community. What a privilege it has been to catch in their acts of service through the lens of my camera.

 ©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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  • Deb

    I can’t wait to attend the retreat in Kenya later this year!