First Women’s Retreat Successful

Women's Retreat 2014 LXP Lesotho Base

Women’s Retreat 2014 LXP Lesotho Base

Last week marked a milestone in LXP Lesotho’s ministry in Nkoeng Village and a dream come true for our staff. We hosted a three-day retreat for the women of our community, and the response was incredible! The event was themed “Basali ba Khethehileng” (“Special Ladies”) and our goal of providing a time of refreshment, spiritual input, and connecting as a community was successfully accomplished.

Day One 

Our first day was Tuesday March 25th and ninety women, aged 18 to 86, joined us. We played some fun games to break the ice, and then we broke into five groups for the session. Our friend, ‘Makatlego Toti, facilitated the first day’s discussion about how God created women as his beautiful, highly valued, and dearly loved daughters. We discovered that we find our worth in Christ, not our outward appearance, the circumstances in our lives, or what others think of us. It was an exciting day as we shared this new experience together and learned such wonderful truths about how precious we are to the Father.

Basali ba khethehileng! (Special ladies)

Basali ba khethehileng! (Special ladies)

"You are beautiful and beloved" - 'Makatlego Toti

“You are beautiful and beloved” – ‘Makatlego Toti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

 

 

 

After the retreat one of the older ladies told us how much the morning’s discussions had touched her. The comparison of the way the world views a woman’s worth and the way God measures it made her feel pain from past experiences in her life but also joy that those difficult memories do not define her true value. We were so thrilled to hear such positive feedback and it became clear that these ladies would benefit from more than just three days of ministry!

Day Two

Dancing and laughing as Ntosh leads us in a game

Dancing and laughing as Ntosh leads us in a game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday it was cloudy in the morning, but the sun came out before we kicked off the second day with fifty women. We played another game together and laughed at the dancing involved! For the session we broke into five groups again, but with different ladies than the day before. Sharon Ninaber, a friend from Canada visiting Lesotho with her family for three weeks, shared with us about the unique passions and gifts God has given each one of us. We are all different but crucial parts of the body of Christ, and we both need and compliment one another as we share our skills. She encouraged us to discover which activities make us come alive and to pursue the dreams that the Lord has put in our hearts.

"You are uniquely gifted!" - Sharon Ninaber

“You are uniquely gifted!” – Sharon Ninaber

 

 

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts…God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts but one body.”   1 Corinthians 12:12,18-20

 

 

 

 

After Sharon spoke to us we each got to make a fun craft project. We selected our favorite color of paper with the scripture Psalm 139:14 printed on it. Then we got to choose stickers and make designs with glue and glitter to decorate our cards. Each card was unique and beautiful, just like each lady!

Craft time!

Craft time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautifully crafted (and the card looks nice, too)

Beautifully crafted                                                (and the card looks nice, too)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Three

On the last day sixty ladies joined us. The energy level was high after all we shared together the first two days, but there was also sadness as the event was coming to an end. Once again, we started out with a couple of games and then broke into five groups. Elizabeth led the session and started out with an activity to demonstrate part of her message. She took four volunteers and blindfolded them. The volunteer’s hands were placed at different spots on a length of rope tied around the backs of chairs placed in a circle. The circled rope was tied in a number of knots along its length, and the ladies were told to find the end of the rope. No one found the end of the rope until the ladies were instructed to work together, then they soon discovered the end of the rope through their combined efforts. The activity demonstrated that we are able to achieve our goals if we work together and from there we continued discussing the topic of the last day, living in community.

Working together to find the end of the rope

Working together to find the end of the rope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the session discussions we learned how God has given women to one another as special companions, able to offer love and support that is unique and deeply needed. It is therefore our responsibility to cherish and build our individual relationships so we can offer that love and support in a strong community. We discussed what it means to truly love our neighbor, and how to overcome some of the very real challenges that make loving a difficult thing to do sometimes. We concluded with each one making a commitment to a specific step she wants to take to reconcile or build the relationships in her life. The majority of the women shared the hurt and discouragement they are dealing with due to unresolved conflict with neighbors. The sharing of this universal struggle and brainstorming the best ways to overcome it was a lively and fruitful exercise! It was a challenging but encouraging session that gave us new hope for the future of our village.

"Let's build the relationships that make up our beautiful community" - Elizabeth Mosobase

“Let’s build the relationships that make up our beautiful community” – Elizabeth Mosobase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule is your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15

 Follow up

We realized after the first day that this women’s retreat was reaching a deep need in the hearts and lives of the ladies of this community; the desire for a continuation of the discussions and fellowship was widely expressed. There was a sense of opening a big can of worms during the three sessions, and it became evident that a long-term approach would be required to adequately follow up with the women whose lives were touched.

At the end of the retreat we gathered the ladies into groups according to the area of the village where they live. They unanimously agreed with the suggestion that we continue to meet regularly in small groups in our homes, then each group chose a leader from amongst themselves. They set a day, time, and place to meet each week and their elected leader committed to ensuring the gatherings occur and to facilitate the discussions. In order to provide the support, training, and encouragement the leaders will need to kick start and run these new groups the leaders will meet regularly with Elizabeth and the LXP Lesotho staff ladies. The desire is that each woman will receive the attention and support she desires in her local small group, and the groups will continue to meet regularly and be a healthy contribution to individual and community life.

Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement that made this event a successful beginning of greater things to come. We covet your prayers for the women whose lives were touched, for the ladies who have committed to continuing the journey as leaders of their local small groups, and for the LXP staff as they continue to guide and support.

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