Written by Cindy Judge
Photo by Margaret Henry
I had the opportunity to speak with an attendee about her personal impression of the Thrive retreat in Croatia. She has been a global worker in central Europe for over 20 years, raised three kids overseas, and worked with evangelistic efforts in a retreat ministry for families who have come to faith in Jesus as their Savior. The fruit has been great. Today I asked her about an impactful highlight from this retreat that she will take home with her.
She immediately said on the first night as she heard the voices of 140 women singing praise to our great God, she was overtaken by the beauty and strength of singing. As the days have continued, she thought of the moms, wives, and workers that God was using around the world and of the great pleasure God would feel as he listened to this army of His daughters sing and share their experiences of serving Him with each other. How pleased He would be at their beauty and vulnerability and faithfulness. She went on to say that God gave each one of them His heart for people. She feels that love goes beyond human love and that kind of strength could conquer all things.
She also expressed another surprise from this retreat. She has felt so blessed by the volunteers who give of their time, money, and expertise to serve the needs of the workers. And while being given a pedicure by a novice, she could not stop humbly thinking, “you would do that for me?”
We end each day of the retreat with a light-hearted game or event. Her favorite was the first night when the group sat in a large circle and, through a funny game, the women learn the many things they have in common. To feel the camaraderie of shared experiences like, “if you ever dream in a foreign language” made her feel like her world was understood and she could say “you get us.”