2016 Brazil Retreat | One Fine Day

Despite earlier forecasts for rain this week, and rain in the pre-dawn hours this morning, God has provided bountiful sunshine along with a gentle sea breeze and the weather is just an outward sign of what He is pouring out over each of us this week.


Our day began with deep worship and a wonderful message from our speaker, Shelly Volkhardt. She spoke of the Father and His lavish love for us. With her words, she drew a picture of the throne room and the joyous noise that takes place in God’s presence there – the repeated hallelujahs, the worship of the Holy One who was and is and is to come, the bountiful color and the flashes of light and peals of thunder that accompany it all. And then she reminded us that while there is so much praise and worship and adoration and noise around God, when we as His daughters draw near it is for God as if the room is as still and quiet as an empty sanctuary. God chooses to meet us intimately when we approach in prayer.


Shelly continued with deep and meaningful words on how we can hide ourself in God and create “Holy Habits” that draw our minds attention away from our distractions, obsessions, and interruptions and ‘hook them’ back up to heaven.


Following our morning session we shared lunch around connection topics such as Homeschooling, Cross Cultural Challenges, Grieving Long Distance and more. We would meet with similar connection groups over dinner later in the evening.


After lunch we entered into a time of providing individual self care. In the self care rooms laughter could be heard rolling out of the hair and makeup salon room, sweet connections were made as our volunteer team washed the feet of our Global Women and gave them fresh pedicures, and bodily rest was found beneath the hands of the massage therapists.


In counseling and prayer sessions attendees were ushered to the very throne of God where they were reminded that they can lay their burdens at the feet of Jesus in the intimacy and security Shelly mentioned earlier this morning. Hurts were shared, but hearts began to move toward restoration.


The evening ushered in a sweet, sweet time of worship followed by a movie night which wasnt meant to be. The attendees got their drinks and popcorn and a box of their favorite movie candy and settled in to watch “Mom’s Night Out.” However, the movie was in the wrong format and the internet too slow to download a new version in time.


As we worked on the technical difficulties, the women did not grumble or complain, they just enjoyed one another’s company. And many even stayed in the room just to fellowship. We often become so consumed with our plans that we miss the reason we make plans in the first place – to connect and commune with one another. While the failure of technology can disappoint us, the presence of God in the midst of His children never will. God can use all things for the good and that was evidenced in our activity tonight.


We may never know the conversations that were had, or the extra rest someone enjoyed, or the connections that were made because our technology failed us. But God does. God ordained those conversations and connections far ahead of time and we rejoice in His goodness.


And so we go to bed trusting that God’s mercies will be new again in the morning and that His faithfulness will provide transformation in the lives of each and every woman here.


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