• Karen Thacker

I had never thought about going to Poland. I love traveling but Poland was never on my radar until last summer when I learned Azmera was holding a Haven Retreat in Krakow. I was introduced to Azmera through a fellow counselor who volunteered at the KENYA Azmera Haven Retreat. My interest was immediately peeked. Travel AND use my abilities? I’m in! I had been looking for opportunities to serve and Azmera’s mission was exactly in line with mine, which is to heal, restore and equip. As my inbox started welcoming ‘Azmera -Poland’ emails informing me of everything from my acceptance as a volunteer to travel details, my excitement and conviction that this was the right fit for me grew!

When I arrived in Krakow, I was taken in by the idyllic beauty of this sweet city. Walking around the city, sampling the local food, and adjusting to the time zone were soon moved to the shadows of getting to know my volunteer team, making preparations for the women attending the retreat, and loving on them when they arrived. I was enamored with the experiences and vulnerability of the precious women I met. Our volunteer team worked so well together, helping and praying for one another. God used Grace (the speaker) and Joy & Sandi (the worship team) to pour into me with passion and wisdom. It seemed as though I was getting way more out of the Haven Retreat than I was giving!

Before the retreat was even over, I sensed God leading me to volunteer for the Cambodia Haven Retreat. I have NEVER thought of going to Cambodia or any part of Asia. It isn’t about where I am going but that I am going, going to serve and love on women who serve and love on others every day in challenging circumstances and sometimes with little emotional and spiritual support for what they do. All that is required to serve at a Haven Retreat is a heart to love and be used by God to bring healing and restoration to the sweet women who serve the Kingdom all over the world.


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