Christina, the retreat coordinator, read to us an e-mail she received this morning from an attendee from the first retreat that ended yesterday. She describes the intensity of her need when she arrived at retreat and the restoration she now feels as she returns to her area of service. “I feel like I can breathe now!” she writes.
I experienced that myself three years ago.
I was an attendee at the 2011 Thrive retreat in Colorado. I came to that retreat very wounded, grieving many losses – the loss of our ministry dream because our work was now in the hands of nationals and its course and vision was radically changed and the loss of our family which was suffering broken relationships because of the trauma we had endured. I was the attendee who required multiple counseling appointments! But through it all I experienced the love and the embracing balm of refreshment from the Thrive volunteers. They loved on me and I began to heal.
What a joy to come to the 2014 Thrive retreat here in Tanzania as a Thrive volunteer! My fellow volunteers are wonderful women who have stepped away from vibrant careers, businesses, homes, and busy lives to minister and love on these global women. The atmosphere of love and acceptance and relaxation is immediate and every moment is choreographed to assist each attendee to enter her own “personal sanctuary” with the Lord. The attendees are amazing, dynamic, committed women whom God has raised up to reach the very same people my husband and I love in East Africa. They are compassionate, creative, dedicated and perseverant in the face of very challenging circumstances.
I feel so privileged to serve them through Thrive and am excited to watch them “breathe” again over the next few days!
By Dee Johnson | Retreat Volunteer (and former attendee!)