Fifth Times a Charm…

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This weekend marked the fifth Women’s Retreat I’ve been blessed to host and organize, and it seriously is a huge blessing for me, as well as the women I plan it for – mostly natives of Serbia who are Pastor’s Wives or leaders in ministry, mostly from small churches with little to no support from abroad.  This year was also the largest group, having grown from the initial seven in 2012 to thirteen women now.  Just as in that first year, we also met in Szeged this year, after having held it in Pecs for the past several years.  Unlike conferences, or even some other retreats, I really focus on the word retreat and aim to make it a time away with no speakers, scheduled sessions or busy activities.  The only things really ‘planned’ are our meals, and an evening time of sharing and prayer for each other.  It’s mostly gathering, eating, talking, praying, eating some more and lots of relaxed fun.  There’s also usually some shopping in there and a stop at a nice coffee shop for dessert and caffeine, with more talking, or course.

Each year my favorite time is as we all share and pray together, and this year was no exception.  As the women come back each year, and as they have established deeper friendships and reach out to each other throughout the year in other ways as well, I’ve seen the level of sharing, honesty and real-ness deepen.  It has been my hope, from the very beginning, to create a safe space for these women to share and encourage each other, to pray for each other and maybe be able to speak into each others’ lives from their own experiences.  I get to share my life too, and be prayed for, which is a humbling bonus – as well as enjoy the friendship of some amazing women!  Here are some snapshots into this past weekend…

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