As volunteers, we are encouraged to practice the art of listening well—to ask significant, deep questions, and really listen, even if that means becoming comfortable with silence. If we want retreat attendees to feel loved, we must make sure they feel heard. As volunteer Darla so aptly put it, “We are called to be God’s hands and feet, but also His ears.”
In an effort to understand the environments our retreat attendees come from and serve in, we went on a field trip and practiced listening. Some volunteers visited a local church while others prayer walked nearby.
We asked. We listened.
We learned about local spiritual needs—and a church in the area with a powerful vision for impacting the next generation. (Did you know Peru sends its own missionaries around the globe? Did you know the attrition rate for Peruvian workers is estimated to be over 90%? It got us thinking, What can Thrive do to encourage the Peruvian church to care better for its global workers?)
We learned how to pray better for Peru. (Did you know workers in Peru work longer hours than their counterparts in most other countries? When fathers work 14-hour days six days a week and have little energy left for their families, how is the next generation affected?)
We learned how to pray better for a couple global women serving in Peru, women who serve as teachers and school administrators and mothers. (The families of 100% of the women we talked with today are facing major family transitions by the end of the year—international moves, a child going to college, work changes.)
Listening is something everyone can do. It’s so simple, but striving to be God’s hands and feet and ears may be one of the greatest gifts we can give to global women.