Boasting in the Lord for Come before Winter
1. Since July, 2001, Come before Winter renewals have served:
A. 900 English-speaking participants who serve in ministry around the world.
B. 24 Russian-speaking participants, serving in Russia; 29 Portuguese speaking participants, serving in Brazil; 27 Spanish speaking participants, serving in Mexico and throughout Latin America
C. On SIX continents
2. For every renewal, women have flown from over 1,000 miles away to participate-indicating the need associated with such ministry.
CBW is realizing these goals:
- Helps missionaries develop support groups, even when they work alone in countries where travel is difficult. We find that women are staying in touch with new-found friends and continue to support one another after the renewal ends.
“I’m so thankful for that big pose of us all on the stairs because just yesterday I prayed face by face for everyone. I pine away for time to communicate with everyone personally. I made so many new friends, and we are keeping the email hot.” Lisa Kesler, former missionary to Romania
- Provides missionaries with high quality, advanced instruction in biblical study. Across the board¸ missionaries have expressed thanks and praise for this aspect of the retreat. One woman, whose husband (of about 40 years) died before she attended said:
“I can never thank you enough for what you have taught me. When (my husband) died, I thought I could never be as effective as I wanted. All our married life, when I had to teach, he would prepare my lesson. I did not think that I could do it on my own. I will always appreciate what you have taught me about Bible study, because now I know I CAN do it myself.” 72-year-old missionary wife
- Allows women to unwind emotionally, physically, and spiritually. According to our Westover Hills Church of Christ’s missions committee, disenchantment with the field (on the woman’s part) is a major cause of bringing missionaries home.
“I have hundreds of missionaries write me each year; I don’t know why they all want to share with me. I throw those letters in the trash, and I pray. But it has helped me to gain a broad perspective on missions. I see all these needs and opportunities to serve. Your organization is doing a GOOD job. I hear about it. Women have stayed on the field because of your trip to Italy, and from what I hear your trip to Thailand will keep women there.” Former missionary who continues to work in missions
- Honors missionaries by sending top-quality presenters and encouragers. Sends missionaries the message: “We think you are one of the church’s most valuable assets!”
“Imagine! Karen Alexander, Suzy Jeffrey, Shelley Park, Jeanene Reese, Mariana Long, Robin Dutton and Maria Dutton from Brazil and the stories of their lives! And Cynthia Agnell made things run so smoothly, but was not heavy handed. Add to that mighty host all the women missionaries-women! It’s unheard of!” D’Anne Blume, former missionary to Russia
- Promotes unity in the church by celebrating our common fellowship in Christ.
“I brought some pain to the workshop, dealing with a controversial issue where there has been a lot of judgment. I prayed with two of the women, and they encouraged me greatly and gave me wise advice. But they were able to comfort me, without giving me any specific response. I left never knowing where either of them stood on the issue. I was just encouraged.” Central American missionary
- Provides opportunities for leadership and growth among our younger women who travel and work with the missionaries and with older, more seasoned teachers and speakers.
“Even though we went to encourage those women, I think I was more encouraged than they were. I was able to see Christian women thriving and I was encouraged and challenged. Through their examples, I know through God’s strength and hard work, I, too, will be able to follow their example even though I may never go overseas to be a missionary. If they could thrive in their situations, surely I will be able to in my career.” Nikki Brenner, an attorney in the Dallas, Texas area; served on Brazil and Stateside teams