2014 Fall Tanzania Retreat | Good and Perfect Gifts

I saw an advert for the Thrive conference and dismissed it immediately. I have never had interest in going to a retreat, probably because I’m not interested in being with a lot of women who are given the chance to air their feelings. Not my cup of tea. But a friend wanted to attend and asked me to room with her, so I acquiesced. She is a wonderful woman of God and I wanted the opportunity to spend more time with her.

God has really blessed my time here, but not in the way I was expecting. I thought I would have meaningful and close times with my friend, but instead I’ve had meaningful and close times with God! God has been training me recently to hear from Him, revive my first love, and act according to His leading, not my own. I have found that it is easier for me to feel close to God and grow in my relationship with Him when I am home in Musoma where I am serving. But throughout this retreat I have been able to have close times with God and really focus on sensing His leading and guiding. This close time with Him outside of where I serve is refreshing simply because it shows me that it is possible. I am learning how to maintain that closeness wherever I am.

Oh, I should add here that I may be someone who has been described as having a “loud personality.” My growing sensitivity to God’s leading has kept me from trying to steal conversations and attention from others during the retreat. I haven’t been the center of attention for the past few days and I am joyful and content in that. Yay! There is great joy, peace and contentment that comes from knowing that you are acting according to God’s leading.

Finally I will say a word, maybe two or more, about the pampering. So many gifts!!! I started getting overwhelmed by how much my suitcase is going to be stuffed with goodies on my return flight home. I’m ok with that. Trust me. I’ll manage it and it will be perfectly fine.

My hair looks amazing after a great haircut. It has been months since my last haircut and I don’t expect to have another one for over a year. It was wonderful having a talented hairdresser advise me on the best haircut that would tame my wayward curls, be flattering, and last me a year.

The sweetest blessings of all, however, was the pedicure. To have the servanthood of Christ modeled through the women who washed my feet, painted my toenails and prayed over me was humbling and beautiful. My toes are radiant!

“Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) My Father really takes care of me.

By Ronit Odom | Retreat Attendee
©2014 Thrive