June 10, 2015
This Week’s Storyteller is…
Karen Loos, Oak Grove, Tampa
We provide healing spiritual retreats for women coming out of sex trafficking, addiction and abuse. We work with several agencies that house these women and who are already participating in ongoing faith based support programs, shelters and safe houses for the rescued victims of trafficking and abuse. Our retreats offer Christian community in a loving and safe environment that teaches and edifies the participants. We are currently developing a unique retreat model incorporating the most successful techniques we have used in the past with the biblical story of Rahab. We use her name to stand for: Raising Awareness Hope And Blessing.
The message of Rahab is the perfect vehicle to help these precious women understand that even though they may feel as if they are on the lowest rung of the ladder, God can and will change their identity and destiny just as He did with Rahab.
We treat the ladies to a "spa day," where they pamper each other while learning the biblical story lessons in the book of Joshua about "facing your fears" (facials), "walking in hope" (pedicures) and "holding on to your blessings" (manicures).
In addition, the women participate in lively worship, crafting a service project for other vulnerable women and trust building exercises. They are served a delicious but healthy continental style breakfast and a luncheon that rivals the best health resorts.
At the end of the day, each lady is given a take away gift to remind them of their special day. During the closing worship service, we offer an opportunity for each woman to come up to the altar to receive an extra special blessing, a lovely red scarf embroidered with our exclusive Rahab logo. The scarf is draped across the shoulders as a symbolic covering of the "blood of Christ" and as the custom of that day, the symbolism that they are under the protection of their redeemer. This is done by a fully recovered survivor to show the ladies that there truly is healing through Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior.
Providing these retreats encourages healing and demonstrates to these precious ladies that there is a viable Christian community that is willing to come alongside them in their journey to restoration. We believe our retreat model is one of the very few offerings of this type in our community at this time.
Up Next Week…
Students of Bethune-Cookman University
Echoing this year’s Annual Conference theme of Next Generations, several students share their views about the church today and what they want in the church of the future.
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011