Preparation for the Thrive retreat involves so much more than preparing for the arrival of the Global Women. Learning how to navigate a new culture that most volunteers have been exposed to for less than 24 hours has been a challenge. Having Katie and Lorrie arrive a few days early has enabled our group to learn from their observations. One of the more interesting observations Katie shared is how the Philippine culture is dedicated to caring for and serving others.
We are here to serve both the Global Women and everyone we come in contact with as an example of God’s love. But Katie encouraged the Thrive volunteers to let the staff serve us, as strange as that may be to a group of believers who are in the habit of living with a servant’s heart. It’s a fascinating realization: one way we can serve the people here is allowing them to serve us and validating their efforts with our appreciation.
In the same way, as we meet and develop relationships with these Global Women we may need to adjust our thinking in determining how to serve. We should allow these women to show us the best way to serve them and meet their needs. We may wish to solve all their problems, provide a spiritual rock for them to rely on, guide their walk with Christ, or any number of lofty goals, but that may not be what they need from us.
Lord, please guide each volunteer as she interacts with these Global Women. Keep the women safe during their travels, and help us as volunteers to serve them in a way that meets their needs, putting aside our own plans and preconceptions as you use us in their lives.