2016 Dubai Retreat | Preparing Our Hearts

Posted on: February 21, 2016 Written by
2016 Dubai Retreat | Preparing Our Hearts
    Photography by: Leslie Walker      

I awoke to day two in Dubai and I am still in awe over yesterday’s events. I woke up excited to see what God would  prepare for us today as volunteers. I was not disappointed. God truly was preparing our hearts for the global workers who will arrive tomorrow.

As we gathered together in our small groups, we prayed through the 30 Days of Prayer. This gave us the chance to really go before the Lord and intentionally pray over the real-life circumstances that some of these women may be going through. It was such a sweet time to be able to cover each and every hardship into one prayer time.

We then heard from Sarah*, a global woman living in the UAE where her husband has a business. She attended the last Thrive retreat in the Middle East, and she shared how much that retreat had meant to her. What was most meaningful? The corporate worship, she said, and the laughter. “We cry so much. It felt so good to laugh.” She continued, “No other conference compares to Thrive Retreats. It’s like flying First Class once, and everything after that feels like Economy.”

Sarah expressed her vulnerability by sharing some really hard stories. In the midst of her pain and hardships, this precious woman had a light and love about her that modeled the footsteps of Jesus. It reminded me that life as a servant can be hard and sometimes we can’t always see the fruits of our labor. Yet Sarah reminded us that “God is so good in such a time as this.”

After she finished sharing, I went back up to my room and sobbed. I wept for her and her family. I don’t believe I was alone in that. There didn’t seem to be a dry eye in that room as she shared her life with us. Her love and commitment for Jesus filled that entire room. It was as if the Lord used her to prepare our hearts for 77 more women who will arrive tomorrow with their own stories to tell.

I finished the day preparing in the pedicure room where women who are in need of such rest will have their feet washed, massaged and prayed over. During training, Kathy, who will be leading the pedicure room said, “Besides fun, laughter, and joy, my heart for the pedicure room is to grasp the enormity of washing these beautiful feet.” I’m looking forward to a truly special time as I and other volunteers humble myself at the feet of the global women we’re here to serve.

“How beautiful are the feet who bring good news.” Romans 10:15

*pseudonym

©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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