2015 Colorado Retreat | Stories that Matter

Posted on: July 18, 2015 Written by
2015 Colorado Retreat | Stories that Matter
    Photography by: Sarah Link      

One of the single most unifying characteristics among people is their desire to be connected; to hear and to be heard. This is a common theme I have heard throughout the retreat this past week.  Yesterday while painting an attendee’s toenails in the pedicure room, I asked her what she believed was the greatest need of global workers on the field. Very simply in response she said, “Communication.”  She explained that cross-cultural workers need people back home to show them that they care.

Global women, like every other person on this earth, have stories to share. They have stories of joy. They have hilarious stories of embarrassing moments. Yet, often what we forget as church-goers in America is that they have stories of hurt and tragedy. Through listening to the women this past week, I began to understand that serving on the field is really hard, emotionally and physically. Yes, it is their joy to be a part of God’s work where He has sent them, but it is not easy. Just like every other person in the church, cross-cultural workers need people to listen to their stories, and they need to be told that their stories matter.

Elaine Slaughter, our massage therapist, said that she was surprised by the women’s willingness to share their stories this past week. In her words, “We didn’t get the Twitter version, we got the blog details. I love when they share their stories!”  As volunteers this week, we had the privilege of seeing the attendees’ faces light up when we asked them about their lives, and sincerely wanted to hear the blog version instead of the Twitter version. They felt loved and valued.  God has brought immense healing this week through the telling of women’s unedited, real stories.

©2015 Thrive



About the author

Kiralyn Tuttle recently graduated from high school, and is planning on Intercultural Studies at John Brown University in the fall. She enjoys playing music, taking pictures, and dancing. She has led worship for her church youth group for the past two years. Kiralyn is very passionate about global ministry, and has been on a short-term church trip to Poland with Josiah Venture, and spent a month in Africa with a cross-cultural family. She ultimately hopes to live overseas one day, and also to earn a Master's Degree in Counseling.

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  • Chery Flores

    Thank you, Kiralyn, for sharing this story. I was very encouraged when you and Jeanne asked me about my life as a global worker as you tenderly gave me a pedicure. It is, unfortunately, very uncommon for people to ask me questions about the life, challenges and joys of being a global worker. Your interest in my story, and the stories of my global sisters, was like a balm of healing for my weary heart. Thanks again to each one of you volunteers who made it such a special week! One that will never be forgotten!