If you came to C4C this year, then you heard the story of how we started. The Lord pressed on my heart to invite 25 adoption moms to come together for a weekend, to rest, to be refreshed and to encourage one another. Finding a quaint lodge and having 25 adoption minded friends come together sounded blissful and much needed.
Quickly, our retreats grew–where this year we have already had 2 retreats of 450 moms at each (totaling 900 adoption moms in attendance!). Just before the January retreat, I told our planning team that once again the Lord was putting “25 moms” on my heart. I told the team I felt the Lord was asking us to use Created for Care as a resource for the moms called to come–to turn around and take Created for Care home–to their churches and community.
At every Created for Care retreat, we receive A LOT of requests to have the next Created for Care in this city or that, to have one big one or to have regional ones, to have this breakout session or that. We listen to and pray over every request, but ultimately what it comes down to is this: What is God’s purpose? What is He calling us to do? What does He want to happen next?
We would LOVE to be on tour full time taking retreats to every region to serve as many moms as possible, BUT–this isn’t where we feel the Lord is calling us (for now). We feel He is calling us to plan retreats right where we are (which happens to be the cheapest region to conduct a retreat in…trust us–we’ve done our research and if you fly any where for a retreat you want it to be here because it’s half the cost as other regions/states requested). We also have to take into account our families, so for now–we feel the Lord is asking us to be faithful to that which He has called us to. And the next step?
I was a little blown away when a Created for Care mom, Paige Nachtigal, contacted me JUST after the January retreat to ask if she could do something. I was blown away–because what she asked was the exact vision I had just shared with our Created for Care planning team. Paige wanted to take what she received at the C4C retreat BACK to Nebraska–and invite other moms to come for a weekend retreat–to receive rest and refreshment…to receive encouragement from the main session DVDs and breakout CDs from C4C…and to create community among adoption moms in her area.
We put together C4C items for her mini-retreat’s welcome packet…similar to things received at the January and March retreat. We shipped everything off…and we prayed for the FIRST C4C mini-retreat! And…it was a complete success! Thank you Paige and your team in Nebraska for following the Lord in what He laid on your heart. How encouraging to watch this as this is the EXACT thing that has been on ours–sweet confirmation that this truly is from the Lord and part of his “next” plan for Created for Care!
We will be working with Paige, her team and others to created “C4C mini Retreat Packets” for 2013. We encourage ANY mom who is interested in having a “mini” to come to one of our retreats in 2013! We will have a special breakout session JUST for you to equip you to take this home and bless 25 moms. How amazing it will be to see how many moms are reached and how the Lord might use these “mini” retreats to expand our territory and bless more families!
Here is Paige’s blog entry on this original vision being put into action:
mini-retreat by Paige Nachtigal
last friday and saturday i had that opportunity.
not only did created for care allow us to purchase and use the videos and mp3s from the original retreat in january, they also came along side of us with ideas, prayer and encouragement. we were able to purchase bags, mugs and journals to bless the sweet women with.
sadly enough those gifts had not appeared on friday before i left to help with set-up. but the hubster brought them over on saturday morning. you would have thought we were all four years old and it was christmas morning. so excited to see that box. thanks andrea and the c4c team.
our retreat was a sweet time of fellowship and restoration.
an older adoptive mom from our church allowed us to have the retreat at her beautiful home. she has a fantastic set-up and the true gift of hospitality. what a blessing. thank you again debby!
the retreat started out with dinner (the team provided the meals). then moved downstairs for a little worship and the video of session #1.
after the session we pulled out the most gianormous display of junk food i have seen since my jr high slumber party days. pretty spectacular!
we all changed into our pajamas (well most of us did) for our panel time. however, instead of a panel we just all shared about our families that God had put together. it took 4 hours and ended around 2 in the morning. what a beautiful time of hearing how God is in the details of our lives.
one thing i loved about our time together is that young women and older women and women in-between lost all their boundaries of age. we shared from our hearts. we took turns listening. we learned and heard and cried. it was amazing hearing the stories of women with now grown children. it was beautiful to see an adoptive mom and her grown adoptive daughter tag-team sharing their story. it was fun to encourage the moms who are waiting or those whose travel was imminent. some of our stories are funny, some are sad, some are hard to hear, some are messy. all have such a precious thread running through them. a thread of redemption. a thread of hope.
i am thankful that God is not finished in my life, in the life of little bit, in the lives of these women and their children. He is not finished. there is still time.
in the morning we ate a yummy breakfast provided by tami and started our second session. which followed by a date with God. we had 4 different stations.
we ended with another fabulous meal provided by marla. she is an amazing woman, with such a heart for adoption. she and her hubby have a little one (who was loved on by many ladies), who knows who God may add to their family in the future. she is part of the his hands for hope team. what a blessing to know her and minister with her.
thank you debby and gail for the photos.
if there is one thing i could impress upon you from our time together it would be this…you can do this too. you (i am sure) have the resources to encourage and bless other adoptive moms in your midst. there is probably someone near you that is hurting, that needs a word of encouragement, that is dying for a hug. you can do that.
this will not be the end, rather just a beginning of the ways to reach out to others. to reach through our own pain to help in the strong name of Jesus. that is the only way for any of us to find hope.
through His hands of hope.