The Michigan Conference Women’s Ministries department, shepherded by Janie Harris, held two consecutive weekend retreats from April 8-10 and 15-17. Held at Camp Au Sable, the theme of the events was “Walking in Faith,” and emphasized the ability to live confident, joyful, Christ-centered lives.
DeeAnn Bragaw, Women’s Ministries director for the North American Division, spoke for both retreats. Bragaw’s series of messages were titled “Barefoot Faith,” and she used shoes as illustrations each time she spoke.
Her most memorable sermon was titled, “Faith in Hiking Boots: To the Top of My Mountains in Prayer.” During her messages, she provided helpful principles regarding prayer. “Prayer,” she said, “is like an uncomfortable hiking boot. Some have broken in their boots and have climbed many mountains through prayer.” Bragaw encourages women to become comfortable in their boots, to find the right fit when it comes to prayer. She also recommends praying words of Scripture right back to the Lord.
In addition to worship talks with Bragaw, various seminars were provided for guests to attend. Speakers included: Shelly Wiggins, Patsy Towar, Emily Lee, Tammy Conway, Cheryl Waldrup, Deaina Cischke, and Cindy Stephan. Seminar topics included confidence, evangelism, identifying and conquering fears, how to be slim healthfully, essential oils and even how to make vegan sushi! Shelly Wiggins’ seminar, “Walking in God’s Confidence,” as well as all of Bragaw’s messages, can be found on the Michigan Women’s Ministries webpage.
Harris was excited by the turn-out for the weekends, especially by the number of new attendees. Between the two weekends, there were over 100 new women who had never attended a retreat. “I love these women,” she said, “and I want to help those who are searching.” Harris carries sharing books for women who are searching to grow closer to Jesus. “Those books went like hotcakes!” she says. She distributed over 200 sharing books between the two weekends.
Every year, the Women’s Ministries board votes on a mission project. This year, women were asked to bring purses filled with hygiene items for women in need. Over 200 purses were donated over both weekends and will be distributed at women’s shelters and safe houses throughout Michigan.
In addition to the purse mission project, the Women’s Ministries board also voted to take up an offering for Fieldwork and Sleep in Heavenly Peace. The organizations work together to make beds for needy children who don’t have beds. The “Walking in Faith” retreats raised over $4,000 dollars for these ministries. Women’s Ministries donates teddy bears to go along with the beds given to children.
Each Sabbath evening, Chef Miguel Larcher taught a course called, “A Taste of Paris,” where he instructed the ladies in the art of healthy pastry making. After a final charge from Bragaw and concluding seminars on Sunday, the women left beautiful Camp Au Sable refreshed and inspired to continue walking in faith.