Women’s Ministries Conference Retreat

December 19, 2023

TEXARKANA, TEX. – The Arkansas-Louisiana Women’s Conference Retreat was held Sept. 15-17, 2023, at the Texarkana Seventh-day Adventist Church with the theme of “Such a Time as This.” Friday evening started by getting acquainted with our fellow sisters in Christ. Our special guest, Marjorie Belizair, Dr.PH., shared a health nugget, and our Conference Women’s Ministries Director Lanette Bieber shared thoughts from God’s Word. We closed the evening with songs and prayer.

Sabbath School was led by Belizair. As women, ministering for God in “Such a Time as This,” we have a purpose; a purpose to provide support, guidance and mentorship to women in various aspects of their lives. We must be emotionally and mentally happy with ourselves and say good things about ourselves such as God made us to be wise, beautiful, thoughtful, grateful, simply blessed, made in God’s image and joyful. We separated into seven groups, each group taking one of these topics to think about. When we came back together, we shared our thoughts. The “wise” shared they need God’s word to help them stay on the right path. The “beautiful” said beauty is on the inside and is a blessing in disguise. The “thoughtful” decided being thoughtful is showing love to others, the “grateful” women decided that being grateful is to know what we live for, God’s love. The “blessed” group felt blessed for learning the truth of God and the “made in the image of God” group decided we are all ambassadors of God. Finally, the “joyful” women made us realize that our joy is not our own, but it is God’s joy over us. We must choose to participate in His joy, and some days may not be easy.

After praising God in song, Lanette Bieber brought us more thoughts from God’s Word. Staying on the focus of our purpose for such a time as this, she shared that we have to be deliberate in our purpose and that it is about God’s plan, not ourselves. We have to remember that God is with us constantly and is helping us through this spiritual battle of life. Satan is trying to defeat us but God wants us to remember that we are His: wise, beautiful, thoughtful, grateful, blessed, made in His image and joyful. We are to encourage other women to embrace the wisdom, beauty, thoughtfulness, gratitude and blessings as they recognize themselves as being made in God’s image.

We were served a delicious Mexican meal for lunch which was followed by a variety of afternoon activities. We could visit the prayer room, take a walk, do some crafts, fellowship with each other or just take a nap. The crafts were a big hit and enjoyed by many. Several of the women met to plan for next year. We want it to be bigger and better, which will be a challenge to be better than the blessings we got this year. Supper was a big salad with every topping you can imagine and we closed the evening with more thoughts from God’s word. Our retreat closed on Sunday morning with brunch and we came away with a new prayer partner to pray for, to encourage and get to know over the next year. Mark your calendar for Sept. 20-22, 2024, for our next retreat. We hope to see you there.

By Monica Thames