2016 Dubai Retreat | Strengthened Through Faith

Posted on: February 24, 2016 Written by
2016 Dubai Retreat | Strengthened Through Faith
    Photography by: Leslie Walker      

Serving these women the last three days has been one of the best experiences of my life. Each afternoon, our guests could make self-care appointments. They could choose to see a counselor and a nutritional coach. They received massages, haircuts, pedicures and color analysis with make-up. It was so rewarding to hear them say things like, “I have not put make-up on in three years and it feels so amazing!” and “It feels great to get a professional haircut, as my husband usually has to trim my hair.” These ladies were so excited for their massages as they desired to feel physical touch. Some needed healing in their lives through prayer, and got it through one-on-one prayer sessions. Linda, a volunteer, said, “They would come and knock on the door. I, a total stranger, would open the door and they would come in and just open up their hearts.”

Sue, our speaker, spoke today about being strengthened through faith. How can our faith be strengthened in hard times? How can we trust God in the midst of trials and tribulations? When a storm rolls in and a cloud of darkness surrounds? Often times it can feel as though we are trapped in prison, being held captive. By God’s sovereignty He does allow for times such as these. They can be hard and the pain can be excruciating. So how can we thrive in all of this?

I listened to story after story of the struggles and challenges these women face. Although our walks of life and service look different, we all are vulnerable to the lies and deception of the Enemy. When we grow tired and weak, we often take our eyes off Jesus, and when we do that, we give the Enemy a foothold.

Sue says, “The world is scary and life is hard. The world says you don’t need to follow Jesus, to walk by sight and not by faith, but Jesus says ‘Walk by faith and be renewed.'” Psalms 73:26 says, ‘My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.’ This is truth. This is what we cling to. We can thrive with Christ through it all by keeping our eyes fixed on Him and just being still. We can either allow the lies and deception to consume us, or we can allow God to consume us with His unstoppable love that never ends.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to our new friends, our sisters in Christ. My prayer is that each of them leave refreshed, encouraged, pampered, rested, and loved on. But above those, I pray that they leave here with their faith strengthened and hearts renewed. I pray that for myself and for all the other precious women I have had the honor to serve along side with.

“Through it all my eyes are in You, and it is well with me.”

©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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