I still remember our first meeting 5 years ago in 2011 with Pastor Jorge, the founding pastor of the church with which we serve here in Guatemala. One of the things he shared with us that his church needed help with was growing their Celebrate Recovery (CR) program. He was very excited that I had a passion to see the program started for women because at that time there was only a program for alcoholic men in the community. 1 year after that conversation, in 2012, a group of women came to Guatemala and hosted a retreat for the men of CR and some of the women came along to help serve the men. The women who hosted this retreat were so happy to be able to do this for the men but God really broke their hearts on that trip because they saw how much the program was needed for women and they wanted to be able to do a retreat for the women too.
Fast forward 3 years to 2015 when I received and e-mail from Amy, the lady who was in charge of the group of women who hosted the retreat for the men. She had just had a conversation with Pastor Jorge in which he shared with her that there was now a CR program for the women of the community. Needless to say she was so happy and started a correspondence with me where we both shared our praises to God for blessing the church with this ministry and that it now included women. Amy shared that she and a group of women wanted to come down to Guatemala and bless the women with a retreat just as they had done with the men. So we began the preparations. Sadly, due to health issues with several of the women they were unable to come to Guatemala and host the retreat.
However, they collected the money that they would have used to come and do the retreat and asked if the leaders of the church would be willing to put together a retreat for the women. So God gave me and 2 other women leaders in the church the opportunity to host a retreat for the women of Celebrate Recovery.
We had this retreat 2 weeks ago on June 5 and it was a true blessing for all who attended. We had 22 women who came (31 signed up so we only had 9 that didn’t come which is a HUGE success here in Guatemala where circumstances make it very hard sometimes to follow through on things). The women were able to leave their children in the care of other family members or men in the church. They arrived at 8 am and we had a wonderful morning of prayer, songs, lessons about God’s promises and the importance of recovery which is where we can find many of God’s promises. We shared video testimonies from the women who sponsored the retreat and some of the other women shared testimonies as well. We then had an amazing time where the leaders of the retreat laid hands on and prayed for each of the women. It was a powerful morning and we could see the Holy Spirit moving and bringing women closer to Jesus during this time.
We then enjoyed a delicious lunch and after lunch we left to spend the afternoon at a local pool where we had a wonderful time of relaxing and fellowshipping.
Each woman received a bag full of little gifts to remind them that they are special and they are princesses and that they DESERVE good things. We also used this to remind them that not only do they deserve good PHYSICAL things but they deserve good things EMOTIONALLY and SPIRITUALLY also.
It was a truly wonderful time for each woman and they all shared home much they loved this day and kept asking when is the next one. 🙂
We know that many of you have prayed countless prayers over the CR ministry here and helped support the ministry financially in different ways so we wanted to share with you this blessing that the Lord gave to all of us here in the community of Linda Visit.
Here are some pictures of the wonderful day the Lord blessed us with!