Thursday, November 3, 2011


October 20-24, 2011

            When I got back from the Women of the Harvest (WOTH) retreat in Foz, Brazil, everyone’s first question was, “How was it?”  Wow!  What a loaded question!  I don’t even know how to express the incredibleness (see, I told you there were no words) of those 4 days. 
            Yes, it was relaxing to get a massage and receive a pedicure.  I loved my makeup make-over, my haircut, and color analysis.  Of course, it was fun receiving coveted “American” gifts like chocolate chips, maple extract, books and CDs.  And how fantastic it was just to get away, be in a nice hotel and not cook or clean dishes.  But all that doesn’t begin to touch the surface of the blessings God sent my way. 
There were 46 participants and about 25 volunteer staff.  Do you see that ration?!  These women POURED into us by listening, leading small group discussions, sharing from their deep wealth of life experiences, and praying.  PRAYING!  Have you ever been prayed over before you receive a professional haircut (or a “prayer-cut” as the hairdresser says)?  Has a woman ever given you a foot massage and listened so intently to your story that her prayer over you touched upon every single one of your fears and concerns?  Have you ever intended to just slip pass someone in the hall and ended up with laughter, tears, prayers and enough affirmation and encouragement to last a lifetime?
These women are prayer warriors.  They prayed for me BY NAME before the retreat even began.  They prayed for me BY NAME during the retreat.  And they will pray for me BY NAME long after the days in Brazil are over.  How humbling, how encouraging, how life-changing. 
These are the women I was privileged to spend time with.

This is my discussion group.  I know it sound cliché, but it really does feel like I have known these ladies a lot longer than a few days. Our speaker, a former missionary herself, shared from God’s word about our identity in Christ.
Getting one of those awesome prayer pedicures by a lady who said one of her greatest pleasures was to wash my feet.  MY FEET! 

Yes, that is turquois nail polish that I picked.  Why not, hu? 
In every aspect of the retreat, WOTH strived for excellence. Their goal is to encourage women as they serve cross-culturally.

Here I am with a shorter haircut and make-up (I think the last time I donned make-up was for my wedding).  And, through Shirley’s “clothes shopping ministry” (have you ever heard of such a thing?) I was given a new beautiful shirt.   

And, I got to share all this with Liz (my step-mom).  Through incredible “coincidences” (wink, wink) we were able to go together (she ministers in Bosnia).


Ken and Christie said...

You are a SUPERMODEL in these photos!! Good times...

Abbie said...

WOO WOO!!!!!!!!!!!! FUN!!! You look so beautiful. Buuuuut you look so beautiful without make up, too, which very few women can pull off!! :) Miss you lots.