An annual women's retreat is designed as an outreach activity
More than half of the participants are guests invited by church members—plus a few onlookers who happened to be elderly Muslim men.
Trans-European Division (TED)
[Albania] Seventh-day Adventist women in Albania look forward to the annual Women’s Ministries retreat designed for inviting friends and relatives. More than fifty percent of the 38 participants attending the outreach event are not baptized members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Some attendees heard the Good News about Jesus for the first time in their lives.
The feedback was positive. All agreed the programs at the June 2017 retreat were interesting and relevant to all, even for the elderly Muslim men from Kosovo staying in the hotel! These onlookers joined the women, listened attentively, and participated in some spiritual activities.
The most memorable activity was the tree of prayers created during weekend with guest speaker, Clair Sanches, director of Women’s Ministries for the Trans-European Division. Sanches promised to carry the prayers back to the United Kingdom and continue presenting them before the Lord. Participants felt the presence of God and were touched. The promise to continue interceding for them inspired many women to open their hearts to Jesus. Women created prayer journals to remind themselves to spend regular time with God.
Women enjoyed the main theme, “Jesus in all four seasons of your life.” Winter season provides time to be honest with God and to look into our hearts, getting to know ourselves more fully. Spring season demonstrates how Jesus brings the joy of renewal and revival to our lives. Summer season reminds us that Jesus is always with us even in the dry periods of summer heat. Autumn season produces opportunity to bear fruit and bring in a harvest with Jesus living in our hearts.
All too soon the weekend was over, but its impact is still being felt. Flora and Ana from Tirana committed to coming to church and joined the baptismal class. Flutura experienced an encounter with Jesus for the first time at the retreat and regularly attends the local church in Elasan. Her daughters are enrolled in the Pathfinder club. We praise the Lord for using Clair to touch many hearts and bring women closer to our precious Savior.
Contributed by Sanda Veidemane-Thomollari, WM leader, Albania
Published in Mosaic newsletter, Winter 2018