Dear Prayer Warriors,
Here are a few specific answers to the 30 Days of Prayer for the Thailand retreat. There are multiple stories, as our God answered deeply and generously.
Day 4 – Counselors
Volunteer counselor Elisabeth said, “In the counseling room, one woman said to me, ‘You didn’t react to my story.’ (meaning I didn’t have to care for you after I told you my story.) I got the impression talking to her that she had to care for other people after she talked about her own life, and had rarely/never had the opportunity to receive healing from another person.”
Day 9 – Word and Worship – in ENGLISH
Attendee Karen, based in Moscow, said, “I listen to worship music at home, but at our international church, a non-native English speaker usually leads worship, and we often sing songs in Russian. It’s so refreshing to participate in corporate worship in my language, and to be able to raise my hands if I want to.”
Day 15 – Self-Esteem, Truth
“In ten years of all the retreats I’ve ever gone to, I’ve never felt this kind of love,” said Sonia, an African-American woman who works in Kenya. She was referring to member care opportunities and even among others who she serves with. She often feels rejected or invisible, ignored, not accepted, but she felt loved at the Thrive retreat.
Day 16 – Wisdom and Direction, Poverty Fatigue
On expectations and ways to meet the needs: Sarah came to the retreat burdened, with too much to do, and an overextended family, yet surrounded by poverty and need at every turn. She needed her husband to be available to the family more, and that might mean giving up some ministry. Before she even left the retreat and had the chance to have a conversation (nag) about it, he texted her to let her know he had given up one of the most consuming ministries that regularly kept him away from the family.
Day 25 – Fill them with a Renewed Sense of Hope
A woman in a “limited access country” has to travel to Thailand or Cambodia every 10 weeks, by herself, to renew her visa. As she shared her feelings of isolation, women in her small group concocted a plan so one of them could meet up with her every time she comes to one of their countries.
Day 26 – Authentic Sharing and Listening
From retreat attendee perspectives:
“I HATE small groups! But I love these – we’re in it together. We GET each other.”
“Thank you so much for helping provide for us to have this time away to refreshed, be filled, prayed for, lavished on, and be reminded that we are precious. It has been a safe place for tears, laughter, and connecting. I have been truly blessed.”
Day 28 – Suffering and praise go hand in hand, God’s presence sustains.
From a volunteer perspective: I asked, “What gives you joy?” One gal had just shared she was empty, but what gave her joy was speaking into the lives of her Cambodian staff. I was so struck by this woman and her team had purposely build a school in a village that was a prime target for trafficking. They’d have students in their school during the week whose fathers would sell the children for a night—the children would be in school Friday, back Monday, but on the weekend trafficked.
My daughter is a teacher and I hear her talk about her challenges. The pains of our US kids are magnified in the stories I’m hearing at this retreat. My heart is so tendered toward these global women’s responses to God’s calling.”
Day 23 – Divine Encounters
God answered this prayer in the form of a “random” invitation to a one-on-one breakfast between a volunteer and attendee. The attendee said, “You’ll never know how significant it was for you to ask ME to breakfast!” After small group, she read that day’s entry in the 30 Days, and it had her name and scenario written in detail—truly a divine encounter!
One last attendee quote to conclude this “wrap-up” of the Thailand retreats:
“I am so grateful for the effectual and fervent prayers of those who prayed before and during this retreat. My GOD spoke to me. I am revived and ready to continue serving and glorifying God.”
May the Lord continue to answer the many prayers prayed on these ladies’ behalf!
Thankful for each one of you,
Author 30 Days of Prayer
Watch our video slideshow of the 2015 Thailand Thrive Retreat