Thrive volunteers are often—though not always—empty nesters and young retirees, women who have the flexibility to be away from home for 10 or 16 days. The 2015 Italy Retreat volunteer team, however, is significantly younger. Nearly half of our 32 volunteers have children at home, and one volunteer left three children at home with daddy, including an infant who hasn’t yet reached his first birthday! We are honored by these women—and their families and friends that made it possible— who have rearranged their lives, stepped out of their comfort zones, and joined us to serve our global women guests.
This volunteer team is also different in that 17 of our 32 retreat volunteers come from the same church (different campuses, so many don’t know one another) in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.
River Valley Church hosts many short-term outreach opportunities each year, but this Thrive retreat was the first short-term opportunity they’ve ever offered only for ladies. Initially Thrive invited the church to provide half (15) of this retreat’s volunteers. The church announced the trip earlier in 2015 and offered the opportunity on a first come, first served basis. Long story short, within a couple minutes of launching registration, the 15 openings were filled with another 22 on the waiting list!
Paula Lindsay, a mother of five (ages 22, 22, 19, 10, and 6), was raised in a church that actively supported global work, and as a result, she and her husband have passed this love on to their children. She and her 22-year-old daughter Karisa registered for the retreat, looking forward to serving together. A hairstylist by profession, Karisa had been praying for an opportunity to use her abilities in a missional way.
Paula was accepted, and Karisa was just a few minutes too late.
A couple weeks later, because the now-full volunteer team still didn’t have hairstylists, Thrive opened registration to two more applicants from River Valley if they had the skills needed for the retreat. Karisa was moved from the wait list to the list of active volunteers, and will be serving alongside her mom.
One more fun piece to their story: Karisa’s twin Kaylie recently went on a short-term trip to Turkey. One of the global workers she met there will be attending the retreat. Paula is delighted at the possibility that both of her daughters will have ministered to this global woman on different continents…and she’ll be here to witness it.
1) Spent time praying for various aspects of the retreat
2) Met with local global workers Michael and Lorna Ralston to learn about local ministry; prayer walked for the city and country
3) Set up and rehearsed self care options
4) Counted down until our guests arrive: 1 day!