Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bethany Covenant Retreat Reflections

Almost one year ago, I sensed the Lord speaking to me about writing a series of talks on Esther to give at retreats. One week later, Bethany Covenant asked me to return as their retreat speaker. It turns out that their Bible Study for the year was on the book of Esther!

I was anxious to return to Bethany Covenant. Two years ago, I was their speaker and it was a delightful experience. The women were attentive and responsive, the atmosphere was open to the movement of the Lord and it was in the midst of beautiful tulip country!

This time they expanded the retreat to a whole weekend and moved it to Warm Beach Camp; a beautiful location on the Pugent Sound in Northern Washington.

I don't believe it was an accident that I was asked to speak. Missio Lux has been training 12 members from Bethany from their healing ministry, and I knew that to do the theme of Esther at a retreat; we would need to have many prayer ministers available after all my talks.

My four sessions on Esther included:

The story of Esther and healing from disappointment and hurt from unexpected events in our lives
Identity: Esther moving from her identity as an orphan to being Queen of the most powerful nation on earth
Coronation: Receiving our crowns and scepters to rule with King Jesus
Call: Each one of us has a significant call "for such a time as this"

Each session brought up emotion and new thinking. I am very sure that I could not do this retreat unless the prayer support is present. We had a reponse time of worship and availability of prayer after each session, as well as prayer appointments on Saturday afternoon.

When we had testimony time on Sunday morning: woman after woman spoke of how God had met them in significant ways. The combination of story, worship, prayer and experience as well as being in a set apart location all combined to bring one kingdom breakthrough after another.

My very favorite part of the whole experience was observing the Healing Prayer Ministers from Missio Lux partnering with the emerging prayer ministers from Bethany Covenant. They are bonded now in friendship, ministry partnership and unity!

Kingdom partnerships are very significant for Missio Lux. We know that we can do more together than we can apart. We are celebrating our kingdom partnership with Bethany Covenant. When we were leaving, I invited them to come and help serve at our Missio Lux Women's Retreat next year and they responded with a very big yes.

Saturday night when we crowned each woman and gave her a scepter so that she would experience what Esther experienced, true joy broke out in the room. Women were worshipping, laughing, dancing, and just having a lot of real fun.

I encouraged everyone to wear their crown for the rest of the retreat. Several of the older ladies only came for the day and was leaving after the session. They were making plans to attend their church service the next day so they would have courage to wear their crowns to church.

Finally, it's fun that several women facebooked me that they came home to crown their daughters and tell them they too are Esthers! There's a ripple that makes my heart sing with joy!

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