Written by Jeannette Lee
Photo by Karyn Ward
As a professional career gal, I participate in many conferences and retreats. Bottom line, the purpose of these events is for the transfer of knowledge. They are left-brain activities.
I am volunteering at a different kind of retreat with a huge differentiator. The purpose of a Thrive retreat is rest and renewal for the attendees. The Thrive retreat involves right and left brain activities to provide a holistic approach to the transformation of the women, including spiritual, physical, and emotional impact as they are beautifully cared for over three days.
The spiritual care includes teaching from the Word of God. The global workers readily respond to the messages knowing the speaker has experienced the same highs and lows as they do. The Estonia retreat messages are titled “Anchored in Hope.” During the first small group discussion, one woman expressed thankfulness that God knew of the women’s deep need for the message of hope as stories were shared of familiar struggles that have the added challenge of living abroad, including infertility, changing jobs, raising kids cross-culturally, and aging parents in the US.
The global gals choose “self-care“ activities, such as massages, facials, pedicures, and more. Receiving these gifts of physical touch with accompanying prayer allows them to experience the touch of Jesus as a reminder of how beloved they are.
The emotional impact is powerfully present, such as the safe haven of being purposely listened to by others who really understand their journey. There’s also an increase in laughter as the attendees share stories from living cross-culturally, such as an aborted airplane landing due to a wildebeest being on the landing strip!
The purposeful, holistic planning of Thrive retreats results in transforming discouraged women into refreshed women ready to return to their ministry roles!