2015 Italy Retreat | Donut Moments
In the treasure trove of Thrive lore, there is a story of our founder, Laurie Bolthouse. One night early in her time overseas, Laurie dreamed of hot fresh donuts. Of course, in eastern Europe, she had no access to hot fresh donuts.
The next night Laurie dreamed of hot fresh donuts again. This time the dream was in color. She could almost taste them. And this time the donuts were Krispy Kreme donuts.
Through a miraculous event a couple days later, Laurie got the pleasure of biting into a hot fresh donut of her own, a gift straight from God to her.
We share this story early in the retreat and let the women know we’ve been asking God to give each retreat attendee her own donut moment, a divine reinforcement that she is a cherished daughter of the King.
On our last day together, we invite the ladies to share their donut moments, the ways God shows them He knows the desires of their hearts. Here are some of the highlights. Celebrate God’s goodness with us!
Debbie (Italy) — This week as I met a lot of older women who have great education, I started thinking, I’m just little old me. I don’t belong. I got a massage, and afterward the therapist gave me a card that said, “You have a seat at the table.” I turned it over and it expounded, “People have degrees and all these things but you still have a seat at the table!”
Marci (Austria) — Mine is more of a “coffee moment.” Before I came here, I had 1 teaspoon of CoffeeMate creamer left. The import store in Vienna was out. This week I received, as a gift, two cans of CoffeeMate!
Anne (North Africa) — I am here this week with a friend. We’re not on the same team, but our kids are friends. One day we spent four full hours talking together and it was glorious! We went to a whole different level after 13 years of friendship! There were all these things I didn’t even know about her! For me, it made it all worth it.
Mary (Taiwan) — This retreat is one big answer to prayer, because I always wanted a big sister, and now I have many!
Also, my daughter will celebrate a birthday when I return home, and she asked me to make cupcakes she can share with her friends. During the gift exchange I walked away with the walnuts. That’s what I needed! And then today [she said through tears of joy] I came and there were chocolate chips, and I needed that too!
Christina (Austria) — I came to this retreat not feeling pretty. I’m going through menopause. I know my identity in Christ, but… you know. One of the girls in our group who I think is incredibly stunning and thin had on this incredible poncho, and I was joking with her, and today she gave it to me. [Tears] I feel pretty.
(name withheld) — I never struggled with suicide until I went to the field. I resonated with the speaker, who shared about her own black hole, and knowing I wasn’t alone was such an encouragement.
Natalie (Spain) — There’s a volunteer here who’s doing something in the States that I’d like to start in Spain. My donut moment was being able to share ideas and get inspiration.
Jamie (Middle East) — We’ve had two major medical expenses come up with our kids recently. We’ve asked people to pray, but were trusting God for the finances. This week, several people prayed for me generally. When I went back to my room, I learned an elder from a supporting church felt impressed to send extra money to help with the medical bills he didn’t even know about!
This week God has been real and faithful and good to these women in tangible ways. When they shared their stories, everyone’s faith and expectation grew. Have you prayed lately for a donut moment of your own?
Today our retreat attendees heard one last message from Barb Larson, connected in their small groups, and (with many hugs and tears) said goodbye. What a privilege to serve them!
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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