Written by Sherry Winters
Months of anticipation were rewarded today as 32 global-working ladies stepped into our retreat venue. Now that the greetings, hugs, and smiles have been exchanged, let the retreat begin!
But first, you may wonder where these laborers serve. Although the majority of these ladies serve in Ghana, other countries are also represented. They include Togo, Sudan, Niger, Mozambique, and Cote d’Ivore. In addition, one lone lady did venture to Ghana all the way from the Netherlands!! Before I share Dianne’s story, let me explain what attracts global workers to a Thrive retreat.
When the ladies shared their reasons for attending this particular conference, there were certain commonalities among the responses. One who has suffered some staggering losses recently is seeking “friends and laughter.” Several ladies nodded. Yes, it is good to release our pain through laughter. “Renewal, quiet time, space for refueling, fellowship, and worship, and time to hear from the Lord,” were other responses.
Let’s return to my new friend, Dianne. Born in Pennsylvania, she dreamed of serving the Lord in Africa someday. Thus, she prepared for a life of global work. However, while in college during a short-term music mission to Holland, she met a Dutch musician who captured her heart. After their marriage, he insisted they’d live in Holland instead of Africa. This was deeply disappointing to Dianne. Throughout her 48 years of marriage, she’s longed for her dream to be fulfilled. Thus, the Lord answered in part as He’s allowed her to minister to African students studying in Holland. But when she heard about the Thrive retreat in Ghana, she knew God wanted to minister to her in Africa. In His wonderful sovereignty, however, He is using her story to minister to the retreat attendees and to me!