Wesleyan Women (WW) have been planning for a number of years for a National Women’s Retreat. Our planning and prayers came to fruition in August this year with Rise Up Retreat. The enthusiasm for Rise Up was beyond what we could have anticipated. We were booked beyond capacity weeks before the event. Rise Up was a coordinated effort between the National WW Executive, and I’m thankful for the support, wisdom and efforts of this team, and the South Queensland Wesleyan Women’s committee. SQWW had a mammoth task to coordinate the details for the efficient and smooth running of the weekend but their attention to detail, their work ethic and passion was beyond measure. I continue to be overwhelmed by this team and my heart overflows with gratitude.
We were blessed with Dr JoAnne Lyon as our keynote speaker. She brought powerful messages from the front and exhibited a humble and down-to-earth manner in every interaction. What a blessing to have her with us. I am confident that her messages continue to resonate with each of us.
What we didn’t anticipate was the response from our sisters from the Solomon’s and PNG. We had nearly forty women present from our neighbouring countries. Our own women rose to the challenge to assist with the extra expenses with fundraising going towards bus hire, linen hire and helping with registration fees but we heard of the incredible and concerted efforts of women from SI and PNG to raise their own funds to join us. What an honour to have women from all over our nation and overseas.
One particular highlight for me was to have Gloria Philip, SI National Wesleyan Women Director, bring one of the messages. Over the years WW has provided speakers for the SI Women’s Conferences so inviting Gloria, a respected leader and teacher, to bring a message to us was a significant moment. Teaching and resourcing was also provided via workshops. Cheri Floyd spoke on cross cultural ministry, Julie Tyler taught on domestic violence and Ange Van Der Leeuw shared on hope and healing.
I could continue to elaborate on the many moments comprising the weekend but enough to say that it was evident to all that the Holy Spirit had brought us together and God’s work was achieved over the weekend. All glory to God.
Mrs Annette Dobson (National Director WW)