Thursday, August 27, 2015

Women at the Well ReTREAT August 2015

Ever wondered why it is called a women's reTREAT? I discovered the answer during our annual "Women at the Well" Weekend in the Drakensberg at the beginning of August! The weekend was attended by sisters from the Kempton Park, Soweto and Aphiwe ecclesias, a few unbaptized friends as well as visiting sisters Deb Lea, Judy MacKinnon & Jeanne Ploetz.
Jeanne, Judy and Deb
The venue itself is a treat both in terms of luxurious comfort and visual splendour; not to mention the plentiful and delicious homemade meals prepared by the owner herself.
The sisters of the organizing ecclesia's (this year it was the Gauteng ecclesia's) took it upon themselves to make or have made several small gifts which were distributed throughout the weekend, such as traditional edible treats, small cushions, tissue holders, bracelets, bath soaps, key rings and mugs. We also gifted each sister a copy of the DVD "Faith in the Face of Adversity". 
One of the gifts was a DIY beaded sugar spoon. 
All of the above pales in the face of the biggest TREAT of all though – which was the deeply meaningful and encouraging studies presented by our dearly loved sister Deb Lea. The theme of her studies was "God's Spirit in Me"; focusing especially on the characteristics Paul shares in Colossians 3. The sisters enjoyed the combination of "teacher-led" studies as well as small group discussions and feedback. The small group discussions also helped the sisters from various ecclesias, and even countries, get to know each other better. 

 On the Saturday afternoon we took most of the sisters on a short road trip into the heart of the Central Drakensberg. This was a huge treat as it was the first time many of them had seen this incredible sight. These magnificent peaks are truly a testament to the creative might of our Father, and one cannot help but remember David's psalms about "looking up to the mountains".
We were blessed with a "God-moment" during our journey to the venue, which I would like to again share and praise Him for. When we started out on Friday morning we were battling a vicious cross-wind, which literally seemed to yank the steering wheels out of our hands at times. Knowing that we had to traverse a very busy and dangerous mountain pass, the drivers were all silently praying for the wind to die down. We stopped at a petrol station/rest stop just before the pass for lunch, got back into our vehicles and immediately realized that we were no longer fighting to stay on the road! God had answered our prayers!
The sisters returned home physically tired (staying up chatting until 2am does that to a person) but emotionally and spiritually fulfilled and energized, already discussing plans for next year's reTREAT – which we will God Willing be advertising internationally. Looking forward to seeing everyone there – if not sooner in the Kingdom!
With love in Christ

Lilandi Furstenburg (on behalf of the Gauteng sisters)
Another treat was receiving the group photo during the weekend so that each sister could sign it to create a lovely keepsake of our time together. 

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