Back in the Spring, New Hope sponsored a women’s retreat at Bear Pen Community Church near Campton, Kentucky. The retreat was led by Sue Lauter and Pastor David Spencer’s wife Nora and daughter Paula Smith. The following is a report by Miss Sue of how the Lord moved in that time of fellowship:
The theme for the retreat was certainly appropriate: “Coming Apart Before Coming Apart: Finding A Calm in the Midst of the Storm”. Nora Spencer opened the meeting with prayer and introductions of those attending the retreat. One of the main purposes for coming together was to be separated from the worries and concerns in the women’s lives. It is easier to listen to the Lord and seek His Will and purpose in our lives by being still. (Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God:…”) The thesis of the weekend was to encourage women to have quiet time with Him, read His Word, and pray.
We began the retreat with singing Jesus Loves Me. This song has an ageless truth, Jesus does loves us. We are His children regardless of our age. His greatest desire is for us to love Him as our personal Savior. The concerns and worries of life began to dissipate as His Presence settled among us. It became a calm, comfortable shelter from responsibilities at home. Fears of what others might think about the problems and difficulties being shared soon evaporated.
The weekend had been set aside for time to be with the Lord, talk to Him, and most of all, listen to Him. In the Scripture, the Lord “spoke in a still small voice”(1 Kings 19:12) . Listening is one of the most difficult issues for Christians. We don’t want to be still and listen to what He wants to tell us. We often find time to talk to others, but not set aside private time for Him. Whenever we do find time, it often consists of a “grocery list” of requests.
As sharing time began, some of the women told of the storms they had endured: abortions, beatings, drug and alcohol use, and other types of abuse. Somehow these ladies had survived. While living in these conditions, they had found Christ as their Savior. He had been with them in the midst of the storms. Christ was their rock of shelter at those times. Psalm 61:3 “For thou hast been a shelter for me…” Psalm 27:5 (ESV) For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble.”
At the close of the evening’s session, the ladies began to yawn and hunger pangs settled on the group. We ended with prayer, praising the Lord for His presence, and then thanked Him for the food. One of the participants, a local restaurant owner, provided delicious pizza. Others had brought snacks and desserts for our group to enjoy. Then…the youthfulness of everyone came out. Food, fun, and laughter filled the premises. For some of the ladies, it was a new experience to enjoy fun in a wholesome Christian fellowship.
~ Sue Lauter