Life for a woman serving globally is a lot like the tide.There are times when the waves of friendship, ministry advances, and team-building splash onto her shore. It creates a sense of well-being, strength and joy. But often, as many will testify, the tide goes back out to the ocean--team members move on to new fields of service, illness or death suddenly takes away those who have provided encouragement and companionship. A sense of emptiness invades the soul and a time of wondering if the waters will once again come back tugs at her heart.
Transition and trust. These are two words Linda spoke of before coming to the retreat. The young son of one of her dear friends died recently and the family went back to the States for an extended time of healing. Another friend's family was shaken with a health diagnosis that required going back to the U.S. to seek medical treatment.
And just like that, the wave of friendship went back out to the sea. Before Linda arrived (by herself), we were praying that she would find her "new best friend" at the Haven Retreat. She laughed at the thought; but the staff at Azmera has seen how good God is when it comes to providing friends. He knows how important it is for women to connect deeply with other women–it's the way He created us. We just didn't know He would act so quickly.
On the ride from the Mombasa Airport to the hotel, Linda struck up a conversation with the other attendees riding the same van. Two of the women quickly befriended her and all discovered that they were living in the same area outside of Nairobi. As the retreat progressed, it was obvious a girlfriend thing was happening!
This kind of connection happens all the time during our retreat time. We are grateful for our loving God who renews our souls in the craziest of ways. Linda was even invited to join these lively women for an extended retreat in a nearby coastal village before returning to Nairobi. Wave upon wave crashing on her shore once again.
At the Azmera Haven Retreats, we offer many ways for attendees to find connection with other women. Watch the slide show to see what happens when we provide the opportunity: