Written by Sherry Winters
The volunteers have all arrived! Today we began to connect and serve together! While connecting with the volunteers, one eager volunteer especially captured my attention.
Exuberance is in her demeanor. Vitality flows through her veins. For Jane Mehringer from western Texas, the Ghana Thrive retreat is an answer to her prayers. And for the global workers who will soon step into this tropical retreat, Jane may well be the answer to their prayers.
Jane will soon understand why many Thrive volunteers return to serve multiple times. She had learned to love serving cross-culturally while still in high school. Later she and her husband served in Africa and Canada. Such precious memories of those years!!
Two years ago in July, Jane asked God, “Where are we going next?” Little did she realize that she would soon lose her father-in-law, mother, and husband all within six months. After losing her husband to cancer, Jane asked God just how He would restructure her life as a widow. Her pastors counseled her to not accept any ministry opportunities for at least two years. “During that time of waiting, it was so difficult to refrain from serving in my church,” she confided.
One Sunday in early December, as was her habit, she longingly visited the missions’ kiosk in her church. She felt the Lord had given her permission to check out some possibilities. Her heart was set on Africa. Imagine her excitement as she discovered a Thrive retreat in Ghana, Africa! She exclaimed, “When I realized I could serve women who are giving their lives in Africa, I knew I simply had to go!”
As often happens before one undertakes a mission project, Satan rained many attacks upon her family. But in spite of the trials, Jane has come to Ghana!