“Influential Encounters” Retreat: A Weekend for Women Serving in Bush Alaska & Canada

ABM Women’s Ministry: “Influential Encounters” Winter Retreat for Women

ABM Retreat Location: This retreat was held at the Log Cabin Inn in the Kenai, Alaska

Purpose of Weekend: Strengthen & Encourage women who serve in ministry and live in several remote bush villages in the Arctic.

In reflecting on the retreat our ABM Missionary Staff Becky Peters Writes:

“What would you do if you wanted to grow beautiful flowers? Of course you would prepare the soil, purchase the correct seed or bulb, and then plant according to the directions. After all the work and expense of preparation, you then truly depend on things outside of your control: the sprouting of the seed, the growth of the greenery, the forming of the bud, and, of course, the culmination of all the effort and waiting, the fragrant brilliance of bloom.

In similar ways, this last women’s retreat unfolded. The staff ladies had prepared the venue, purchased food and all sorts of goodies, and studied and organized sessions. We waited in anticipation on those God would bring and how He would cause all things to fall together, looking for the brilliant revelation of God’s power and glory.

And then those things outside of our control began to unravel. We had several ladies cancel at the last minute, not unusual, but disappointing, especially as we knew how much those women had wanted to attend. We took a breath. We couldn’t get in contact with another gal to arrange for her travel plans. Our venue needed to be changed. Ok, we took several more breaths and reminded each other that God was in control. Time needed for final meetings and preparations flew by, squeezed by circumstances. One of the staff would be getting back from Anchorage the day before retreat, her husband having just gone through unexpected surgery. The others had had a month of switching off traveling with their husbands, first one home then the other. Toss in company, a child’s broken leg, and a good measure of sickness, it hardly seemed a proper setup for the revelation of God’s glory and power.

Actually, it was the perfect setup for God to reveal Himself in great in might ways. Just at the last minute, we made connection with the lady who needed travel plans. A local bed and breakfast had openings even at such a short notice and gave us an incredible rate. As we gathered together, things fell into place, sometimes just minutes before we needed. Truly in our weakness, God showed Himself strong. The retreat was a place where God’s truth was spoken, hearts were shared, tears flowed, and the tender, healing touch of our Heavenly Father ministered to all who attended. We couldn’t have asked for more!

As a way to bless our friends who serve, we decorate with fresh flowers. At the beginning of our time together, the buds stood in vases tightly shut as if anticipating what is to come. Over the course of our time together, the promise of beauty unfurled as the flowers gently opened. So, too, we came together with expectation. In the same way, we did indeed see the beautiful revelation of God’s goodness to us just as HE had planned.”

To designate a special financial gift or find out how to support the women ABM go to: arcticbarnabas.org/donate