24 May 2010

EFCC Women's Retreat 2010

This weekend was the first time in 5 years that EFCC has had a women's retreat off campus!  We went to the beautiful  Calvary Chapel Conference Center/Bible College in Murrieta Hot Springs, CA.  There were approximately 100 women in attendance and  our guest speaker was Marilyn Laszlo.

Marilyn Laszlo spent 24 years with the Sepik Iwam people of Papua New Guinea.  She helped them "carve" their language and translated the Bible into that language!  Jungle living is unfathomable to me!  I am, by no means, NOT a high maintenance woman, but in comparison to living with next to nothing in the jungle, I most definitely am!  I heard incredible stories of these two white women entering an all black (naked) jungle village and asking to live with them.  Can you imagine what might sound like?  First the language barrier: these villagers had NO clue what the women were saying and vice versa, let alone asking of them to share their lives!  Second: they were thought to be ghosts, not people.  Not male.  Not female, but ghosts!  But they were offered up a place to live by the graveyard hillside.  Of course they didn't know it was a graveyard they were sleeping on...

After this weekend and the Hume work week back during the first week of May, I feel as though God is affirming my decision to be a part of the short term missions team I am on!  It definitely has been a step of faith, knowing how far out of my comfort zone I'll be and fully relying on what God will do; using me in any way He choses on the journey there and the whole while I'm there until I return.  I'm thankful for this opportunity and look forward to see what is in store for me and the team!

The above picture is so beautiful.  The notes you see pinned onto the cross occurred Saturday evening during communion.  The women were asked to get right before God: to confess their sins and leave them at the cross!  We're all sinners and God wants us to confess our sins to Him.  When we do so we're immediately forgiven and on that path of reconciliation with Him!  Doesn't that warm your heart?  Unconditional love includes forgiveness.  As faulted and flawed people we must also forgive ourselves.  When God forgives us, we MUST also forgive us!  I've been guilty of confessing to God, but not forgiving myself!  If God can forgive me, who am I to say that God isn't good enough?  That's what I'm doing when I don't forgive myself!!

Is there anything that you might be holding back from God by choosing not to forgive yourself?  We are called to be set free and that includes self-condemnation!  Let God deal with your sin, He's more gracious and merciful than we will ever be!