I recently attended a Christian Women’s Retreat for Expats in Qingdao: “Beauty for Ashes”. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but my lovely friend, Heather, had told me about the book we would be looking at so I had an slight idea of what the two day retreat might be about. Forty ladies met at a Chinese hotel in downtown Qingdao, and there we were treated to some amazing snacks, food, and wonderful speeches by some very knowledgable woman. It was amazing at how quickly I felt close to these women. Women that I had merely known for a few hours, and then for only two days. Day one was great, but day two was really ground-breaking… I learned some truly life-changing things about God, and about lies that I have believed for the longest time. These lies have been my truth for most of my life. This incredible weekend made me realise which of “my truths” are in fact lies… And since then, almost everyday, I am learning how to find freedom from these lies. I can’t say how thankful I am for the information that I learnt on this inspiring weekend. Message me if you are eager to know more. I would love to share.
If you are interesting in working through this course in a small group – or even on your own – you can buy the study guide (and leader’s guide) here: Crown of Beauty
“Journey with God through this twelve week Bible study and allow God to set you free to rest in His love and delight. You will display His glory as God’s Spirit renews you. These studies will enable you to discover the root issues that are holding you back from a more intimate encounter with God. Discouragement, distance, or defeat will be replaced by joy, intimacy, and victory. This is most effective when studied with at least one other person, though it can be done alone. Preparation time: 30 – 45 minutes per lesson. Small group time: 1 1/2 hours. You can also purchase the Leader’s Guide and teach this Bible study to a small group or to your church’s women’s ministry.”
Day one started off in the restaurant area of the hotel where Heather had set up coffee machines, cakes, muffins, and all other sorts of deliciousness. The work had started way before this morning though, and during the week before I had visited Heather one night to help her tie ribbons, and prepare some of the decor for the conference. This lady is super talented, and being into details myself, I really enjoyed helping her prepare for the ladies weekend.
After lunch-time the conference was to resume in a private room, so while the rest of the ladies went venturing out to find food, Heather and I set up the second venue area. It’s always more fun when you have a friend to help out, so I was more than happy to stay and help Heather do her magic.
We were all assigned to a small group for discussion and prayer time. I really liked my group of beautiful women, and above you can see all of us posing for a picture at the end of the weekend. Due to the odd working weeks and vacation time, I have not been able to see anyone since this weekend. However soon everything will be back to normal, and I get to see all of these faces again at church. Thank you to everyone who made this weekend happen!
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well”
~ Psalms 139:14