This Week in FOCUS (Peg):
The images you see above are just four screen shots, from 13 possible screen shots, as over 300 women gathered this morning for the opening ceremonies of Thrive's virtual retreat called "Gather." Literally, in my notes, as tears began to fall onto my cheeks, I wrote: The Nations Have Gathered!!! And, I was overcome by the obvious PRESENCE of the LORD (even through a computer monitor)...
Here are some statistics:
383 women were registered as of 10:00 AM this morning.
They represent 175 mission organizations.
Together they have 4,665 combined years of service on the field.
82 known people groups are being touched by these ladies.
20 passport countries are represented.
55 volunteers have set aside their time to serve these ladies this week. These women will be facilitators of small groups, bible studies, prayer groups, counseling workshops, and worship...they will lead exercise classes, do one-on-one nutrition consultation, give spiritual direction, give medical consultation, and many of us will do one-on-one counseling. These sessions that our US volunteers will be leading will run from 4 AM (MST) to midnight (MST) through Friday.
As I waited for "my turn" as a teacher, I watched the greetings coming through the chat option, as women listed where they were signing in from. Some were more specific than others, and some had to be more conservative in letting us know where they were located...but this is just a partial list:
The Middle East
My role this week is to participate in a few teaching sessions, then every afternoon I will be privileged to meet in one-to-one counseling sessions from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Two weeks ago, I met with a group of gals to consult with the Thrive administrative staff day dreaming about what this event could look like. We felt then that we were shooting for the moon...BUT, it's amazing what many hands can put together in two weeks. I doubt there has been anything of this nature ever organized before for our global women serving overseas. I am beyond BLESSED to be involved.
One quick story. As I scanned through the chat feature, I noticed several women sharing some of their "unusual" experiences on the field (ALWAYS A HIGHLIGHT). One gal recounted her first trip to the market to purchase chicken necks for making soup for her family. However, the market didn't just sell necks. The necks came complete with the heads of the chickens, including eyeballs. Her neighbors told her, "Heads make wonderful soup!" And, she agreed...they did make great soup, and she said, "Fortunately, the eyeballs melted quickly, so I didn't have to look at them long..."
With that, I'll sign off. I appreciate your prayers as I serve "servers" this week.