It has been a huge blessing, once again, to help some special ladies gather together. Since 2012 I’ve been hosting women’s retreats each fall, initially for some old Bible College friends and then it grew into a Serbian Pastor’s Wives retreat soon followed by Norbi gathering the Serbian pastors each spring. Last year, during our visit back in the fall, we were asked to host something similar for all the Calvary Chapels here in Hungary. And so this fall, for the first time I got to host two retreats – first for a new group of Hungarian women, most of whom I didn’t really know well, and then, the following weekend, for that core group of Serbian women.
Both retreats were wonderful times of ‘getting away from it all’ for these busy women, filled too with fellowship, deep sharing, lots of good eating and sweet times of prayer. I do retreats in the full sense, not conferences, so there is no teaching, but also, no schedule besides meal times. We meet up each evening for sharing and prayer, and did some gathering for ice-breaker games. Still much of the time is for the ladies to do what they like, be that sleeping in, shopping, walks through an adorable town, taking a nap, sitting over coffee with just one or two good friends they don’t usually get so much time with. For the Hungarian retreat they really wanted time all together, this was their first such gathering and it was a needed time of connection and really getting to know each other. They took full advantage of this rare gathering and spent most of their two days all as one big group. The Serbians, after many years of these retreats, now see each other much more often throughout the year. Their churches do more activities together than they did in the past and so they feel a bit freer to split up and do some alone time with Jesus as well as sweet fellowship with each other.
Pictures of the Hungarian Pastor’s Wives Retreat
I know many of you prayed for these retreats – thank you so much! Those prayers were needed, and felt. Having met with the same Serbian ladies for so many years now, it was amazing this year as we realized what a powerful past year it has been for the bulk of us. After many years of tears and struggles all around, 2019 was a year of huge answered prayers, big changes or just overwhelming Peace and Grace in the midst of still-existing hardships. We were humbled and awed at God’s collective hand over our lives. I’m looking forward to seeing God work in similar ways for the Hungarian ladies, and for them to grow in their friendships together and their relationship with Jesus.
Pictures of the Serbian Pastor’s Wives Retreat
In between the two retreats, Norbi and I took the opportunity and stayed in Szeged (he was at his mom’s with our dogs during the actual retreats). Saturday evening to Wednesday we relaxed in our favorite city, wandered, met up with some of his extended family plus some new/old friends. We walked the streets of what we pray is our future neighborhood, did some more dreaming and almost-planning. 2020 looks to be the year of Szeged for us – we’ll keep you updated! But now… Advent is almost upon us, Joshua arrives for Christmas in just a month, we’re ready to enjoy the Holiday season at home for the first time since 2016.