These last two days are swirling in contrasts. Africa….a land of beauty and challenge. One of the things I am taking away from the two retreats of 80 some global women that we 18 volunteers have served is this….the ministries that God had called these workers to is both beautiful and very challenging. That is a description of life in Africa. The people are ever winsome and cheerful, though life often includes great challenges because of the extreme poverty, violence, and the AIDS crisis. The wonderful women we met these two weeks work amidst these challenges every day while also seeing lives changed by the power of Christ.
Many of us volunteers have commented about how hard the work is here and how many of the missionary women seemed exhausted and worn down as they stepped into this hotel. The good news is that we saw remarkable change in attitudes and countenance from the first to the last day of each retreat. God had done His very personal work in each heart. We felt it as we met and prayed with our small groups on the last day. We are confident that God has refreshed and rejuvenated these women. As they head home. He did the same for each of us as we watched Him at work in all of our lives as well. We will never be the same.
Africa offers much to the outsider and the insider. The very beauty of God’s creation is not far from sight in the people and in His creation here. After the retreat, our volunteer team took a long drive to a game park where we saw the Africa animals that only this continent boasts. The time helped refill us and offered us a unique place to debrief and process our service. It proved to be a stimulating way to worship our God. His mercies are new every morning. The beauty of His works have astounded us all.
By Cindy Judge | Retreat Volunteer