Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Come before Winter UKRAINE 2012

Crowned with God's steadfast love, the week together in Ukraine melted our hearts, refined our lives, annointed our souls and wove us together into a beautiful cloak of His amazing benefits in human form.  May His hesed cover you as you are sheltered within His loving care.

Monday through Friday God's cloak-passed from renewal to renewal by the tender hands of the missionary liaisons-served as a physical symbol of God's arms of compassion.  Outside the snow covered the ground and the chill penetrated the skin, but inside the mantel of God's benefits warmed us in comfort, strength and joy.  We felt the unity of the women who have experienced Come before Winter renewals in so many corners of our world since the first one in Brazil in 2001.  We stroked the emblems they placed on the cloak and lifted them in prayer as their lives united with ours. 

Throughout the week we emersed ourselves in the 103rd Psalm.  Sinking into its verses--pulling them over us as a cloak of revelation--delving into their meaning through the structure of the poetry--seeking His meaning for our lives through meditation--opening God's plan for humanity through a theological exegesis of the chapter--submitting to the Father's hesed in prayer--we approached the Kingdom's throneroom to draw closer to The One who through eternity has drawn us into His loving shelter.

Each step of the renewal has been intentionally planned to honor both God and women called to serve Him in diverse settings and programs.  From the greeting at the door to the farewells all over the building, the Lord's name is lifted up and each woman is affirmed.  We literally begin and end each day in prayer and worship as a community.  Times of informal sharing around the dining tables, out on a walk in the snow, in the swimming pool or gathering in a common area created bonds of friendship.  Scheduled appointments with small groups and with individuals for prayer forged lives together over miles and into eternity.  "The whole of life without any exception can be an act of worship if we choose for it to be."  Come before Winter reflects that truth in every way.

The week was bathed in prayer and tears...tears of sorrow, of pain, of frustration and of pure joy.  Some of those tears poured freely in worship as we considered the verses and wonders unveiled in Psalm 103 through song and scripture.  Hearts turned upward as truths penetrated our innermost being.  Other tears were shared with small clusters in times of sharing our goals and desires to be more fully dedicated to following His guidance in our lives.  Sometimes the tears were shared one on one with a precious sister in intement prayer appointments.  Always the tears were shed in the presence of our loving Father whose compassion wraps His children in His arms and renews their youth as an eagle!

Bouquet of Blessing
Cluster of Joy

Single with Purpose!

Leading with Love

Crowned with Everlasting Love
Thank you for touching my life in this amazing week of renewal...whether your touch was physically there in Kiev, Ukraine, as a team member or a participant or one who served us through the sanitorium or a sweet young life who offered flowers along our path or a spiritual touch over the miles--over the waves--as a prayer warrior or a support through cards or notes or finances.  Your touch, my friends, was felt each and every day as we united in service.  God's hesed flows over and through you!

1 comment:

  1. Each time I prayed for you during this time, I found myself smiling. It was a pure joy to pray for you and now I know exactly why. - Amy P.