2015 Peru Retreat | Love: the Greatest Commandment
What makes you feel loved?
That’s the question Thrive anticipates for global women. We try to make them feel loved often—and in all the ways we can—in the 72 hours they spend with us.
In his book The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman identifies five ways we express and receive love that, when spoken, fuel us for everyday living:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
How do we make sure all 68 retreat attendees go home feeling loved?
We strive to be multi-lingual.
The women receive verbal words of affirmation, and sometimes with handwritten notes. It happens in small groups and during afternoon self care appointments where attendees receive haircuts, pedicures, massages, prayer, or counsel.
They experience quality time in individual and small group interactions. Each self-care appointment provides an opportunity to slow down, be heard, and pray with someone. Perhaps most importantly, the women have the space and margin to spend quality time with their Heavenly Father.
They receive gifts. Each morning, there are fun surprises awaiting them. Tuesday evening they got a Taste of Home—items they miss from home but can’t readily find in their countries of service. And generous donors make the retreat itself a gift for attendees.
The women benefit from acts of service when they discover which colors suit them best or have a makeup artist play up their best features; when their hair is cut and their backs are massaged; when a pedicure looks more like a foot washing and becomes a sacred experience.
Attendees experience healthy physical touch through massage, haircuts, and pedicures, but also through the laying on of hands during prayer, and when hugging a friend goodbye who was a stranger days earlier.
We are commanded to love one another. And so we do, in all the ways we can.
Do you love the global women you know in all the ways you can?
About the author
Bethany joined the Thrive staff in January 2015. Thrive's mission has resonated with Bethany for many years, first as a magazine contributor, then as a donor, and now as the development associate. A natural storyteller, she is passionate about sharing Thrive's stories. Bethany spent more than four years working cross-culturally in the Middle East. She has an undergraduate degree in Social Work from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, and a Master's degree in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona.View all articles by: Bethany Hofmann
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