In the end we had between 10 - 12 girls ranging in age from 12 to upper 20's. We had such a sweet spirit. Inevitably when a group of young people are put together there is always at least one who wants to cause a stir. That was not the case this time at all! The group was made up of girls who had grown up for most of their lives in Christian families and in solid churches. This gave us as pastor's wives the unique opportunity to take what we had to present to them one notch higher.
After everyone arrived by bus, train and car we relaxed with some games and snacks. We repeated the taco dinner we served at winter retreat this past winter, as they all loved it! (tacos is NOT a normal food here in Brazil contrary to what you might think). We started off the night with a talk on integrity in internet and media use.
Next we went into modesty and how it really is something we as girls need to take to heart in consideration for our Christian brothers. The girls were so receiving of everything I had to say on the subject. We divided by age groups at the end of this talk and watched an excellent video by CJ Mahaney reading letters from college age Christian young men to Christian young women about what modesty means to them. Wow! If you ever thought modesty was only for your granny, think again! As Christian young (and old) women revealing our bodies in ways that are acceptable by the world's standards, we are killing our Christian brothers around us. We ended this discussion with a beautiful story about a purity bracelet given by parents to their 16 year old daughter. One of the pastor's wives made bracelets as remembrances for each girl.
The next day, this lovely pastor's daughter came and spoke on the importance of having a heart right with God no matter our circumstances. She knows firsthand as she is still recovering from an aneurysm behind her eye. She has experienced in a powerful way the grace of God in a very difficult situation.
We ended the day with a fancy tea. The girls absolutely loved it! (so did we!) It was so fun to dress up, eat mini food and learn about proper etiquette from this lovely lady (below).
The final talk came from a beloved pastor's wife (below) who just recently had her first baby and has been called with her husband to help a struggling church about six hours north of Rio. She challenged the girls to stand up for Christ in their schools, workplaces, colleges, to not be ashamed of the Gospel.
As the girls headed back into the lion's den of a city gripped with evil, our prayer was and is that they will be firm in their decision to stand for Christ in each aspect of their lives and that they will impact their generation in such a way that would bring much glory to God!