2016 Dubai Retreat | Called to Serve

Posted on: February 20, 2016 Written by
2016 Dubai Retreat | Called to Serve
    Photography by: Leslie Walker      

FullSizeRender (1)My journey to Dubai began less than 48 hours ago. I believe the Lord has just opened a new chapter in my life and it begins with a journal entry that I recently came across from January of last year. At the top of the page I had written these words: “One word for 2015—thrive.” At that time I had not even heard about the organization Thrive; however, a month later I would learn about it through a dear friend of mine who had just returned from Thailand. As I read her story through e-mail, tears streamed down my face. That was the first tug on my heart.

I didn’t respond quickly. I didn’t respond by saying, “Here I am, send me.” In fact, it took a few months to obey His calling. But I took my first step.

For most of my life I had struggled with fear, doubt, insecurities and anxiety. I knew this would be the hardest decision to make. I had been a wanderer in the desert, but it was time to take that step and get in the boat and off dry land. And before I even stepped on the plane, God was already working.

As I began to land in different legs of my trip I began to meet up with other volunteers. We embraced long before we could exchange our names, and it was as if there was instant trust and friendship. As we settled in today and sat around as a group to share a small piece about ourselves, there were so many different walks of life. Some had been on a Thrive retreat before, and many others like myself were on our first retreat. When the last introduction was complete, I saw one common theme: we were all there with open hearts to serve other Daughters of the King. We then broke into our prayer groups for a sweet time of prayer over each of us. It was one of the most intimate times of fellowship I have experienced with ladies I had only met just hours before.

I have had to fight off lies that spew in, like What are you doing here? and You have no experience. You have nothing to offer. I was reminded by sweet, precious souls that I am loved and chosen by God, even in all of my weaknesses. He has called each and every one us and he will equip us to carry out the task that lies ahead.

Our day ended with preparations to provide each attendee a gift for every day they are here. These gifts will be given out with much love and prayer. I smiled as I looked around that room, filled with joy, knowing that many of the attendees would cherish these gifts.

As I got back to my room tonight I am overwhelmed and grateful to know I am getting to be a part of living out what it means to have a servant’s heart. So for now, I step out of the boat as the Lord has called me out upon the waters to Unknown Territories. My prayer is that by the end of this chapter, I will leave with a new profound love for my Creator and for all the women  who have been hand picked to be here.
Lord, may you get all the glory!!!

 

©2016 Thrive.



About the author

Melissa Periera currently resides in Bakersfield, California with her husband Jason. They have three kids, Collin (16) Alexa (13) and Hayden (7). She works full time at a construction & architecture company and enjoys spending time with her family, reading, working out, and serving at her home church. This is her first trip of this kind.

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  • Carol Buchanan

    Thank you Thrive for loving these amazing women!