Saturday, November 27, 2010

Continent Care Connection

Two years ago when I went to the Continent Connection Conference put on by Continent of Great Cities, I had such an uplifting, encouraging, refreshing week that I immediately began planning and saving for the next conference in 2010. At that point I didn't even know if I would still be in Brazil in 2010, but just in case, I made plans. It was that good. When the much-anticipated date of October 4th rolled around (one day after the elections I blogged about,) I was giddy with excitement to return to the beautiful beach town of Maresias and enjoy a week of worship, sharing, resting, and reconnecting with other missionary women from South America.

This year was everything I was expecting and more. We spent 5 days at a beachfront resort sharing in times of worship and prayer, classes on topics ranging from contemplative prayer to boundaries in relationships to the importance of female companionship, connection groups which served to connect us more intimately with each other and share about struggles in our work and personal lives, and lots of eating. :)

I reconnected with many old friends from the days when my family lived in Brasilia, some friends I made at the conference in 2008, some friends I had never met but had corresponded with through this blog, and was blessed to make many new friends. There were about 40 missionary participants and (I think) about 15 women who came from the US to spend time with us as small group facilitators, speakers, organizers, gift-givers, counselors, and friends.

On a personal level, I can say I returned to Natal a different person. Not only rested, but also confident that God used that week at CCC to show me many areas of my life where I was needing to make some changes, as well as showing me areas where I can be confident I am following His will. I came back to Natal determined to make these changes and live confidently, and in the weeks since the conference I have been blessed by the results.

In a week so centered on gratitude, I am reminded of how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to go to CCC for a second time. God blessed me with a great week of companionship and learning. I was blessed by the extreme generosity of the women who came to serve us for five whole days, and was blessed by the lessons they had to teach us and the way God used them in such perfect ways that we know only He could have orchestrated it. I am grateful for the generosity of the donors who made CCC financially possible-- because of them, all we had to do was get ourselves to Sao Paulo and the rest was taken care of. It was an unforgettable week.

My connection group: me, Amy, and Rachel

The beautiful food table on our final night. If you look closely, you can see that "Continent Care Connection" is carved into the watermelon.

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