Relax, eat, laugh, pray….these are a few of the words that describe this year’s WiM Beach Retreat. As one lady put it “it is so nice to have a set aside relax time in my busy schedule.” That is exactly what the retreat is designed to do, help the ladies of RTS to break away from the busyness of studying, parenting, ministry and working and to have some down time with each other. And that is just what happened.
Everyone met at the Best Western in New Smyrna on Friday afternoon and checked into a beautiful room overlooking the ocean. That evening the ladies ate delicious pizzas and salads catered by That’s Amore restaurant. Dinner was followed by a time of games which involved trivia about one another and some mixers. This time was followed by a wonderful ice cream bar, decked out with what seemed to be every topping known to man. Next, Melody Hoover shared her testimony about how the Lord called her to Himself, and the great work that He as done and is doing in her life. The time of testimony was a blessing to all who heard of the great story of God’s love in the life of His child. As the evening wrapped up the ladies went to each others rooms to play more games, chat, and snack. Laughs were had by all who took part in the telephone pictionary game in one of the rooms.
Saturday morning started early with a sunrise beach walk led by Cheryl Mendes-ellis. This relaxing morning walk even included the rescuing of a sea turtle. The meeting began at 10 with a few worship songs led by Janelle Born and Dulce Merida. After singing praises to our great God, Hannah Brandenburg shared the truth of God’s Word with the ladies in a short devotional. Hannah used the introductions found in Jude and Romans to show that we are loved by God as His adopted children. “We are adopted into a family that knows we struggle with our sin but stays with us. Our identity is in God’s character not our own.” This truth was so encouraging to all our hearts. After, Lilian Faragalla led the ladies in Lectio Divina. This was an intentional time of dwelling on the the truths found in Psalm 46 and meditating on the Word of God. The ladies spent time in prayer for one another, and concluded the time with a song. Everyone enjoyed an amazing lunch served by Riverside Catering.
Some ladies stayed and enjoyed a few hours catching some rays on what might have been thought of as the best beach day of the year.
A special thanks to those who so diligently worked behind the scenes to make the retreat so wonderful. Janelle Born, Meredith Guthrie, and Audrey Grey; thank you for using your amazing talents and decorating skills to make the retreat beautiful. Marcela Sapunar, thank you for being an amazing help in every area from setting up to searching for missing trash bags. Thank you to Jennie Campa for taking photos (which will be added shortly). And all the ladies mentioned above, thank you for leading music, devotionals, sharing testimonies, readings and sunrise walks.