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Women Attend ‘Favored’ Retreats

March 20, 2024
Participants at a Global Coffee Break retreat
Participants at a Global Coffee Break retreat

What does it mean to be “Favored”? Women across North America explored this question together over weekend retreats hosted by Global Coffee Break, a ministry of Resonate Global Mission. The retreats focused on a theme Scripture from Isaiah 66:2: “‘Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?’ declares the LORD. ‘These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.’”

Over 80 women participated in one of four unique events in separate locations. Beginning in October 2023 in Michigan and continuing to Connecticut, Maryland, and finally Florida in February 2024, the Global Coffee Break team was busy hosting Favored retreats.

The retreat setting for each event allowed for one-on-one conversations. Attendees participated in Bible studies and breakout sessions together. Over meals and at Saturday-evening socials, such as a campfire, Holy Spirit-inspired conversations took place, said organizers. The goal was to gather a group of diverse women together for the weekend and provide them with opportunities to grow in their knowledge of God’s Word, how to study it themselves, and how to help others study it as well.

Being in close proximity with women from a variety of backgrounds also provided participants with opportunities to learn and grow as they got to know each other. Some participants counted their country of origin as the United States or Canada, and others’ places of origin included El Savador, Fiji, Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

 “In fact, in Connecticut we showed a Hispanic Heritage video because it tied in with one of the devotional readings. That provided a lighthearted learning experience for those who were not Spanish speaking,” said Diane Averill, Eastern Regional Global Coffee Break representative. 

Beyond ethnic diversity, the events also demonstrated a diversity of generations. A number of the participants were young women who attended high school. One mom shared how her high school daughter, who had participated last year, was so inspired that she went on a mission trip to Africa this past summer.

Heart language matters. Even though many of the women spoke excellent English, in down times you could hear them speaking their primary language to each other. This demonstrated that their primary language was important to them when they wanted to relax or understand deeper things of the heart, said organizers. 

“We were thankful to provide translation of the main sessions and some breakouts using the LiveVoice translation app,” shared Janis Persenaire, Great Lakes Regional Global Coffee Break representative. Some retreats had three different languages at once, while others had one.

While the theme from Isaiah 66 was central for all four events, each location offered breakout sessions and main speakers that were unique to their context. These explored prayer, evangelism, walking alongside someone, and making “Favored” bracelets. Participants also enjoyed studying a Global Coffee Break Bible study resource—either Discover Galatians or Discover Revelation. During the small group study sessions, there were beautiful heart conversations and connections made, said Coffee Break team members.

Global Coffee Break representatives want to keep the momentum going by listening to the Holy Spirit. “Prayer is essential as the team plans and invites small group leaders to explore themes of God’s Word. Currently, video sessions from the retreats are being shared with those who attended, to remind them of how God sees them as favored,” said Averill.

Looking ahead, Resonate’s Global Coffee Break team is planning a summer retreat at Gordon College near Boston, Mass., for July 12-13, 2024, for women and/or couples and will be providing Bible study materials in all the languages of the participants who attend.