ROSCOMMON, MI – After two years of turning women away from the SOLD OUT Harvest Retreat, 2016 brought new opportunities as well as new challenges - offering two fall retreats, back to back. Women responded to the two retreats with an attendance of more than 325 attending over the two weekends. 139 of the women attending this year were first timers. They gathered together to experience God's truth that they are “Marvelously Made” to become the woman God designed them to be.
The first weekend was a full two-night retreat, featuring Dr. Monica Brennan, from Liberty University. The second retreat offered an overnight option for those who may have had younger children at home, Sunday church responsibilities, or who could only get away for one night. Robin Sullivan, long time Michigan Christian radio host, was our guest speaker. Both women spoke powerfully from God's word and stirred the women’s hearts.
An added bonus of the retreats is that the women develop closer relationships with others from their own church. Event Coordinator, Cindy Parker says, “It is a great time of reflection - time away from the busyness of life and the many distractions. It’s a time to focus on your spiritual life and listen to what God is telling you. The sharing of worship, small groups, and outdoor fun deepens the retreat experience. The women return to their families as better wives, moms, friends, and co-workers.”
Women shared how God had spoken to them through the retreat, and were encouraged and challenged. Many renewed their commitment to Christ.
“Everything the main speaker shared, I needed to hear.”
“I was finally able to let go of something I realized I was hanging on to.”
“I need to trust God’s plan.”
“Be bolder about sharing the gospel.”
“I am loved and He is always with me.”
A very special event took place at both retreats - the Bambi Plunge. It was a fundraiser for much needed AV equipment for the camp. Dozens and dozens of brave women took a plunge into the frigid October waters of Bambi Lake to raise money. Altogether, over $1500 was donated. Four new smart TVs have been purchased and ready to be used for future conferences at Bambi Lake. The More Beautiful Than Diamonds Boutique, LifeWay Christian Resources, and the Bambi Gift Shops provided many opportunities for shopping. Also this year, a craft expo was set up with several booths of handmade items, and other product vendors.
The next retreat dates are set for October 13-15 and October 20-21. Mark your calendars now, and plan on coming with a BIG group of your friends, sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts, cousins and co-workers. More information is available on the Christian Women of Michigan Facebook page or at bscm.org/event-flyers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cindy Parker is the Event Coordinator for Harvest Retreat and a member of Merriman Road Baptist Church, in Garden City, Michigan.