2019 Annual Ladies Retreat: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

Inspired by this famous phrase from the classic Snow-White story, we decided on this theme for our annual ladies’ retreat of Northeast Brazil.

I was asked to select the Bible lessons for the event. I chose: The Mirror Smudged by Sin, The Mirror of Religiosity, The Stage Mirror (Social Media), The True Mirror, and The Word of God were some of the lesson titles. We look at ourselves and others in these kinds of mirrors, but we need to look at the true mirror: The Bible. There we see our real selves, and we can find the transformation we need to reflect the image of Jesus.

This was our 29Th seminar. Unbelievable! It doesn’t seem possible, so many years have already gone by since our first little retreat in the city of Belo Jardim. As years passed, we got older, but the retreat is still a spiritual feast of fellowship and edification.

Many ladies travel up to 15 hours by bus to attend. Some are from larger congregations while others are from tiny house churches in the countryside. Some are very young in their teen years, while others are older ladies. They are in different phases of their lives and different backgrounds: single, divorced, widows, housewives, businesswomen, teachers, lawyers, nurses, students. However, when we come together, we are just Christians, united by one faith, one baptism, one Lord. And that is what matters. And we are happy we are together. We wait with joyful anticipation all year for these precious four days.

The location this year was in the little city of Cajazeiras 400 miles from Recife in Brazil’s “sertão” (outback). Here it is dry and hot most of the year. The event was organized by 12 women from the small congregation there. These women did a terrific job finding a comfortable place, organizing the whole seminar, songs, small groups, lectures, fun times, great food and many other activities. They took very good care of the 175 of us. Some warned them however not to take such a big responsibility with so little resources. They didn’t listen. They decided if they met every week for prayer, God would enable them and would bless their efforts and dedication. Guess what? God did that and much more! I was so glad I was a part of it!