Written by Linda Swanson

Photos by Karyn Ward

The volunteers stood together in a circle just after lunch to pray for the Thrive Estonia retreat one more time before going to greet the retreat attendees who were arriving from all over the world. Our prayers reflected our excitement and anticipation to see God love on our guests in His perfect way and to partner with Him however He would use us to care for them. 

The women coming to the retreat were excited, too. As they were welcomed with a gift and invited to sign up for each afternoon’s caregiving options, they expressed their hopes for the retreat. Many were arriving tired, even discouraged, and their desires were for rest, restoration, and renewal. Others declared their hope of meeting like-minded women who could share tips on life and ministry overseas. Many women shared their desire for heart connections with God and other women, while admitting to a desire for alone time to process grief or the difficult challenges they are facing. 

One woman said she felt like she had come to a “Spiritual Spa.” We hope each of our guests will enjoy a spa-like experience for their hearts, souls, and bodies. May God design this retreat to pamper the women in just the way they need to be pampered. May they leave on Thursday rested, renewed, restored, and feeling loved and cared for. May God use each retreat ingredient to encourage these precious women to live the life God is inviting each of them to live. 

©2019 Thrive