2015 Colorado Retreat | Shopping for Jesus

Posted on: July 15, 2015 Written by
2015 Colorado Retreat | Shopping for Jesus
    Photography by: Sarah Link      

As a first-time volunteer at a Thrive Retreat, I’m eager to meet and get to know the other 30 volunteers here in Breckenridge, CO. We’ve worked in teams side by side for the past 3 days preparing…covering the retreat in prayer, training as small group facilitators and pedicurists, assembling welcome gifts, and setting up a bookstore and clothing boutique.

It’s in the clothing boutique where I met and served alongside Debbie. Have you ever met someone who exudes authentic joy? Someone whose wide, open-mouth smile and eyes make you smile in the same manner? I have. It’s Debbie. I’m smiling just thinking of her.

I wanted to know what’s behind Debbie’s infectious smile and equally contagious joyful attitude. So, while were taking clothes from boxes and putting them in hangers, I asked Debbie what makes her so enthusiastically happy serving in the clothing boutique. “I love women and I love shopping for Jesus,” she replied.

Four years ago, Debbie learned about Thrive at a seminar she attended where Lorrie Lindgren, CEO and Director of Thrive, spoke about the ministry. Debbie’s family was in transition at the time—kids leaving home to attend college—and she was seeking opportunities to be intentional with her time in this new season.

After the seminar, Debbie talked to Lorrie about ways she could be involved with serving and blessing global women through the Thrive retreats. That’s when Lorrie told Debbie about Shopping for Jesus. This was a great fit for Debbie because she enjoys shopping and wanted to get more involved in missions.

So, Debbie and her friend Linda shop end-of-season sales all year long. In fact, instead of buying birthday presents for one another, they put the money toward clothing for the boutique. Debbie’s Bible study is now involved and her family is always keeping their eyes open for quality clothing on sale.

The Clothing Boutique is a huge blessing to the retreat attendees as well as to Debbie as she witnesses the astonishment and joy of the women when they walk into the boutique. She is thrilled when women leave the boutique, new outfits in hand and head held a little higher and smile a little wider…like Debbie’s.

Editor’s Note: The Clothing Boutique will open today. We estimate more than 2,000 articles of clothing and accessories have been donated by friends, Bible study groups, and other small groups around the country. If you were a part of that, thank you for blessing our global women guests of all shapes and sizes!
If you want participate in this for next year’s furlough retreat, please mail quality new clothing of all sizes with tags still attached to the Thrive office, 9150 W. Jewell Ave., #102, Lakewood, CO 80232

©2015 Thrive



About the author

Carla Boelkens loves to support, encourage, and pray for women around the world. She has been involved with international ministry for over 25 years training and leading short-term teams for her church, planning and organizing regional and international partnership meetings for a grass-roots ministry, and serving as global director of a social enterprise in Kenya for a US based non-profit ministry. Carla lives in West Dundee, Illinois and works full-time as a clinical assistant for a chiropractor.

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