Surrounded by trees dressed in the splendid colors of autumn, we found the Christian Center, Rehe, Germany. Nestled away from the everyday noises, this simple and homey place was the ideal location to host Faith Baptist Church’s, Kaiserslautern, Germany, fall Women’s Retreat. Our theme was “Love you with the truth,” based on Ephesians 4:15 (NLT): “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”
Thirty-one women made all the arrangements necessary to be able to attend. Some arranged babysitters; others took time off from work; while others left their household and children under the care of their husbands. They came from different areas of the Kaiserslautern Community to be challenged by the Word, strengthened in their walk, and refreshed in their spirits.
The retreat committee prayed and planned for many months. They made sure they covered all the bases including small gift bags placed carefully on the inviting pillows on each of the women’s dorm rooms. They chose from among our women of Faith Baptist Church, Sara Thompson and Lashonda Larracuente, who would speak to us from God’s Word. They also asked Sara McIntire to lead us in worship and coordinated three different small break-away sessions to enrich even more the entire weekend.
Friday evening began with dinner, followed by fun games aimed to get us to know each other better. Soon after it was Sara’s turn to lead us into worship. Christ-centered songs filled the room and helped focus our minds on the message Sara Thompson had prepared for us.
Sara session was titled, “What is truth?” She began by defining truth as absolute and unchanging as opposed to relativism. In a world that has welcomed the idea that every individual can define what is truth for themselves, Sara’s talk was timely, refreshing, and reassuring. She then showed us from several Scriptures that Jesus, who was in the beginning with the Father and was manifested in the flesh, is The Truth. Sara explained the importance of having the right foundation: the infallible Word of God.
After Sara spoke we gathered in small groups to answer some questions and discuss her lesson. The women were able to identify several ways in which the world has shown a fierce opposition to the Truth of God.
After breakfast on Saturday morning, we worshipped together once more with Sara McIntire leading us. Lashonda shared on how important it is that we are careful with our words and challenged us to “plant our feet on the Word.” She gave us seven “Tongue Tips” — simple ways to be mindful that what’s in the heart does come out in our speech and thus the imperative of being in His Word. In her session on Saturday night she explained to us what speaking the truth in love looks like in the body of Christ. She challenged us to reach out in love and share truth with each other and engage in discipling/mentoring others. In our small groups we discussed ways to speak truth in love.
The three breakaway sessions were: The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace led by Holly Settle, Daily Nourishment of the Truth by Sara Thompson, and Your Feelings and Your Soul by Ginger Horak. These sessions were all rich with insight from Scriptures and practical ways to apply the concepts they shared.
On Sunday, as we said good-bye to each other and to this beautiful part of Germany, our hearts were filled with thanksgiving and praise. The weekend was one that will remain in our minds for years to come. The beauty of creation surrounded us. The fellowship we shared was uplifting and encouraging. The Word presented challenged us to walk in love and love others with the truth.