It is impossible to summarize the impact of our second "Sister Retreat" in China! None of us could have envisioned how God knit the teaching of each of our Chinese coaches with the teaching of the American sisters together to make an impact on each woman there. And talk about a cohesive team - our Chinese sisters thought we'd known each other for years - most had only just met!
Your retreat scholarships brought them to tears: they couldn't believe their American sisters cared so much for them. One teacher, brought 6 of her English students on scholarships - they all accepted Christ as Savior! Praise God for your generosity!
The women identified with Mawei's call to be like Deborah (pictured above); the feeling of thinking they were "trash" but now belonging to God, as shared in testimony by Liz and further related to talks on courageous Esther, Abigail's wisdom, Lydia's church and then their own stories in sharing the Gospel.
Many indicated a dedication be salt and light for Christ in their spheres of influence, many will be leading study groups in the workplace or in churches and 12 want to be trained as coaches of the leaders to join the group now being trained! The final ceremony presented by Harriet asked them to take a cup of water to show their commitments to pouring out the offerings of their lives to God - as Mary had with the perfume for Jesus!
Here are quotes from the Chinese sisters along with the pictures below:
" I now know He value women and will use women to do great things." and "I have more security to open to each other and feel relaxed."
"I feel more related to each other since have many common challenges and problems."
"I feel be loved and be understood and relieved."
Don't you just love the pineapple and watermelon hats from the KnitWits! The ladies sure did!!
This is Zhao Xiuming (Grace) who wrote this note to me (excerpt): "When it was gift time, Peggy and Hope brought out many knitted scarfs and put them on table. This Chinese girl was immediately attracted by a blue-white colored scarf. She loved it so much that she was afraid it might be taken away by other sisters. After more than 20 sisters were called...she was a little sad thinking she would never get the chance to get that beautiful scarf. Suddenly, she heard the hostess called out "633820" - That was her number!! ...she felt this was a special gift from God. Thank you for those knitted these beautiful scarfs. thank you for your weaving work and prayers....Wish that you could come to China!"
"Sisters are encouraged by real life testimonies of life, even sufferings"
"We feel we can now help others to know Him better and the beauty and joy in Him"
These are the new sisters - 6 women welcomed into the family of God!
"Feel cared and loved."
"Realize women can exert huge influence..."
"Draw me near to Him again, life
relieved from many confusion,
frustration etc. and get hope again."
"Having heart and life communication with sisters."
"Know clearer about His calling and will for me."
"Know more about how He value women and how he care about women in His heart."
"Find rest and renewed and transformed."
"Feel cared and loved."
"More confident and courageous in service!"
"Know His calling for women and how to live for Him."
I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse into the hearts of these Chinese sisters. Our entire trip and each Divine appointment is impossible to capture in mere words but I hoped to give you a brief look. Thank you to all who helped make this trip and this work a reality and please continue to pray for these women as they seek to take their leadership to a new level. Pray for us too and well...how about considering a trip to China with us? Blessings to you all!