The Women’s Ministry team at the Southern Asian church (Silver Spring, Md.) recently hosted their annual women’s retreat, themed, “The Sacred Garden of Prayer.” The 86 women in attendance greeted one another with warm hugs and a received a welcome gift of “Never Alone” magnets that resembled the wooded mountainous surroundings.
“We had a few visitors, including one who was not a Seventh-Day-Adventist,” said Soosan Vargehese, SASDAC’s Women’s Ministries coordinator. “It was a great opportunity for witnessing to someone of a different Christian denomination. We enjoyed the day reflecting, reviving and replenishing our souls with God’s peaceful natural setting as our backdrop.”
One highlight of the event was a skit based on the Lord’s Prayer, reminding attendees how people easily forget God during their daily busy day and of the need to have a closer relationship with God. Guest speaker, Mrs. Chandra Attiken brought out comparisons of an actual garden and scripture through an interactive exposition of the meaning and power of prayer.
“She closed her talk with the beautiful, very relevant song, ‘I Come to the Garden Alone,’” shares Vargehese. “We then separated into small groups for a season of prayer, where everyone could pray as they felt inspired. Standing in small groups, hand-in-hand we called upon God, strengthened our faith.”
The afternoon session included forming teams to play Christian song games, Bible trivia and charades. “After the fun and games, attendees shared their testimonies. One woman shared the experience of her mother, herself and her Bible being spared from a devastating house fire.
At the end of the meeting, coordinators presented each attendee with a parting gift of a scripture-themed reusable bag. “We all cleaned up and relished in the last few moments of the day as we lingered in conversations and were reminded how fearfully and wonderfully we are made and how prayer keeps us close to our Maker,” said Vargehese. “It was a day well spent in sisterhood, prayer, fellowship and God’s love.”
By Soosan Varghese, SASDAC Women’s Ministry Coordinator, report shared by Esther George and Naveena Mora