It was 1995...
We had been in Czech for a little more than a year. I had a four year old, a two year old, and Claire was just a few months old. And life was a little bit hard. Okay, that's an understatement! I was WAY over my head!
But...God was there. And as sometimes happens, He was in the form of four good women. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes God lovingly displays Himself in people that He places around us, and they touch us with His presence. Those four women were Lina, Laura, Andrea and Kim...all JV missionary women.
I don't remember who had the idea first...but somehow we decided that we needed to have an overnight with each other. In later years we'd call it a "JV Ladies Retreat". But that late February evening at a Polish hotel, it was simply five women who needed each other.
We laughed, we ate, we heard each other's testimonies, and we were the body of Christ to each other. It was the beginning of a wonderful tradition.
Eleven years later, we're still doing JV Ladies Retreats! They have grown in size, changed in locations, gone from one overnight to four (thanks to husband's and leaders who know the benefit of sending their wives and teammates away for time with other women!), and been a blessing each and every time.
This coming February, we will once again come together for a JV Ladies Retreat. Thanks to some inexpensive tickets on Sky Europe, a great low-season deal on a hotel, and other good provisions from the Lord, we're heading to Rome with 35 JV ladies for five days! Whoopee! I can hardly wait!! Being with my JV sisters is such a joy and privilege.
As you look at these dear faces, ask God to bless them for their hard work, their sacrifices, their perseverance in the face of difficulties, and their obedience through it all...and pray that God will bless them with a sweet week in February of refreshment, joy and fellowship with their JV sisters.
And that we will have a great time in Rome!