Volunteer Arrivals | 2019 Italy Retreat

As I welcomed other volunteers as they came through the front doors of the Renaissance Hotel, I noticed tired eyes but smiling faces. After waiting months and then weeks, the Thrive volunteers were only days away from meeting women from all over the world. Women they had prayed for and now were anxious to get to know.

But until then—these volunteers from all over the U.S. would get to spend time together.

The best way to get to know someone is to serve alongside them. And this is exactly what happened on day one in Tuscany, Italy. The day started with lots of laughter and sharing fun facts about each other followed by a sweet time of prayer and worship. So fun to see old friends and meet new ones! Then we gathered outside in the beautiful sunshine surrounded by mountains to take a group picture. Already creating memories.

Putting together fun gifts for the attendees is always such a satisfying feeling knowing they have trouble finding some of the items they love from home.

Free time is a huge blessing. A time to slow down and get in tune with the Holy Spirit, shared one of our volunteers. It allows for time to do whatever you want, but in my case it allows for me to talk, talk, and talk some more with the ladies I’m learning to love and connect with. I’m learning what kind of sacrifices some of the volunteers make to be able to attend the retreat, whether it is financial or health related. It could be any number of things. No matter how you look at it, it is a step of faith for all of us.

There are several first-time volunteers on this retreat. They are anticipating what the Lord has for them and they are grateful to be able to come along on this journey of caring for women serving overseas. It takes a considerable step of faith for many to make the commitment to serve women serving overseas. Their work is so important and they do need physical and emotional rest and relaxation. Not to mention spiritual renewal and refreshment.

There’s no doubt our Sovereign God is in the details of this day. And He gets all the Glory!