As we reflected as a volunteer team today we shared stories that impacted each of us. We talked about some of the major challenges that global women face. I heard words such as loneliness, lack of resources, relational challenges, injustice, lack of health care, fearful and weary souls. One volunteer shared that she heard from a global worker that she was so comfortable with suffering she was hesitant to work in an area that was not as hard because she was comfortable with the suffering. Wow!!! That’s the perseverance of bold and brave women. These women were able to be vulnerable and really go deep. Some shared that it was a relief to know they were not alone. Even through their heartaches, we were able to see joy and restoration come for many of them at the end.
I came to Thrive expecting to pour out all I had upon the women in any way that the Lord called me, and I’m leaving here feeling like these women poured out their hearts on me. I am leaving here changed. I am leaving here fulfilled. Awestruck. Humbled. Privileged to have served these ladies. Those emotions replaced the ones I had arrived with: Anxious. Apprehensive. Fearful. Inadequate.
We will conclude tomorrow with what it looks like to go back home and share what we have experienced with friends and loved ones. My hope and prayer is that each global worker goes back rested, restored and rejuvenated and that they will encourage one of their teammates to attend a retreat in the future. This ministry is life changing and we truly were made to “thrive.”
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
*Before and After creative project by Jenny Smith