To Last A Lifetime | 2019 Italy Retreat

Posted on: February 21, 2019 Written by
To Last A Lifetime | 2019 Italy Retreat
    Photography by: Margaret Henry      

There didn’t seem to be as much energy in the room as the attendees found their seats for the last session of the retreat. Their special time away was coming to an end, but it’s been a time that these ladies will cherish for the rest of their lives. They’ve made friendships and gleaned advice that will carry them through and encourage them during their time overseas.

During our last reflection time, the ladies shared why they came, how they got to be here, and some of their highlights. Here are a few that stuck out:

“I kept thinking about the retreat. I only mentioned it a couple of times to my husband. He hates telling me no, but we didn’t have the extra money in our budget to justify me going. I prayed about it, but not seriously. I get tired of disappointment, and I didn’t figure God in the equation. One day my husband asked if I still wanted to go to the retreat. Well, of course I did. He made all the arrangements. His gesture of love spoke volumes to me. It reminded me that God sees me—all the time. He knows my deep down desires and is willing to meet them. These few days away have been incredible. I have felt listened to and understood, loved and cared about. These volunteers are truly servants of God.”

“The main reason I came to this retreat is to make new friends. I’m really lonely. I have friends amongst the local people, but it’s not the same. I don’t know their language enough to express my feelings to them, but here I can.”

“The first night of the retreat, we began worshiping. I felt this wave of energy, the Holy Spirit I suppose, pass over me. The volume of voices alone was incredible. I hadn’t felt this kind of connection with God in a long time. There is something about corporate worship that really ministers to my soul.”  

“This retreat was a gift from God. I’m going to make the most of it!”

©2019 Thrive



About the author

Ally Holland is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer. She writes for Publishous, The Ascent, and Crosswalk.com. She has been a guest author for Bible.org and for Thrive Ministry. Ally is a former Director of Ministry to Women and a former board member for Thrive Ministry. She and her husband, John, have been married 30 years and have five grown children. They serve together as leaders in Re-Engage at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. Ally suffers from RSD/CRPS. She is passionate about God’s redemptive work in the lives of those who suffer with physical and emotional pain. You can connect with Ally on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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