Written by Cindy Judge
Photo by Margaret Henry
A very full and fulfilling day was experienced by volunteers and attendees alike. God met us in many ways, and Thrive’s retreat goals were met with rigor and style. All these attendees were fully amazed at the thoughtfulness and sensitivity of this ministry. God is blessing all of us involved. We hope you readers are catching the passion and blessing that it is to be involved with Thrive.
An over-arching goal is to provide global women with encouragement to thrive through spiritual, physical, and emotional refreshment.
These goals were met from morning to evening today. The morning found us worshipping through song and Bible teaching. The female harmonies and beautiful keyboard accompaniment brought many to tears as we sang our hearts out to God, sounding like a great choir. The teaching by a veteran global worker who has been through some of the hardest of circumstances in a Middle East country met many women’s spiritual and emotional needs. God used this first of three talks to speak loudly to us about having the spirit of discernment and the ability to keep going. God has not called us to an easy life but one that requires deep roots in Him.
During lunch, the attendees could sit and share with others at tables designated to about 10 different subjects like Team Dynamics, Grieving Long Distance, Raising Third Culture Kids, Navigating Language Barriers, and more. The conversations were rich.
The afternoon is filled with self-care appointments that meet physical needs, as well as emotional and spiritual needs. The self-care options include counseling, massage, health consultations, hair cuts, photography, or meeting for a personal prayer session. The afternoon could be described as pampering with a purpose…and also give a live example to these hard-working women of what self-care looks like.
I’ve already seen the stress and sober expressions dissolve into bright smiles over the hours of this day. God is meeting needs. Tonight they received gift bags full of items they cannot find in their countries of service. The smiles were endless and lots of laughs were heard as the evening ended with some table games. It has been good medicine for the soul. God really blessed this day. Women ministering to women is just the best spiritual, physical, and emotional refreshment.