Sandra Naugle

I was unable to attend the Ladies Retreat in September at the Kavanaugh Life Enrichment Center in Crestwood, KY. My grandson was graduating from Basic Training at Ft. Benning, GA, and we knew that we must support him for this

important time in his life, and we wanted to be there. There was an event on Thursday and on Friday. At both of these events, we heard prayer for these young men and women and for all those that serve in the Military to defend our freedom. It was a collection of proud moments for parents, grandparents, and other family members and renewed our commitment to pray for our Military daily. It was an inspiring two days.

For 23 years, Christian women and teens have been meeting for a time of inspiration, encouragement, and wonderful fellowship. All but two of those years have been held at Kavanaugh. It is a time of drawing apart with like-minded Christians and being uplifted by speakers, testimonies, songs of praise, and prayer. The fellowship is wonderful.

In the past, we have had from 100 to 120 women attend. That was several years ago. Our numbers have been diminishing in the past several years. This year we had 61 ladies and 8 teens in attendance. Some faithful attendees have gone on to be with the Lord and some are now physically unable to attend.

We do our best to keep the registration fee low so as many as possible can attend. I know of other Ladies’ Retreats that are 2 or 3 times as expensive as ours at Kavanaugh. We have remained at Kavanaugh because we can use the facility without a huge increase in the registration fee. If you are financially unable to attend, we can make arrangements for your fee to be covered.

This brings the question, where are those who ARE able to attend but for one reason or another choose not to attend? Why is it that this event becomes, not a priority, but an ‘if I am free that week-end, I will go’? Why is it not possible to plan ahead and mark that week-end on your calendar? It is always the last full week-end (Fri. evening / Saturday) in September. It is not as if you would have to inquire when it will be held.

There are many women that would greatly benefit from being at Retreat. There are older women there who have been an inspiration to many in their faithful walk with the Lord. There are women who have families at home. There are younger women who come to be encouraged and inspired by the words that are spoken by those who present the program. There is always a special Saturday program for the teens. There have been times we have had as many as 18 to 22 teens present.

I am involved with the planning and the ‘computer’ work for Retreat. This year we had as our theme: FAITH…..We TRUST in the Lord, we HOPE in the Lord, we have JOY in the Lord, we know PEACE in the Lord.

Our theme verse was Romans 15:13.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The comments on our evaluation from the attendees were very positive. Some said the speakers’ stories were very inspiring, uplifting, and motivating. We always get positive comments each year about our speakers and program.

A lot of work goes into the preparation for the Retreat. The seven ladies on the committee meet several times prior to the event and prayer is always how we begin our meetings. We know God has led us each year to the theme, the speakers, and the scriptures used in the program.

It is very disheartening to the committee, the speakers who have prayed and prepared messages, and those who work in various ways during Retreat, when we see our numbers declining each year. There surely are many who could have attended, but chose to not make it a priority to be blessed by being there.

I would encourage church leaders, ladies’ class teachers, ladies’ group leaders, and others in your church to begin talking about Retreat several months in advance of the last week-end in September. Encourage your ladies and teens to attend. I can guarantee that they will be blessed in the time spent there. If you have a church calendar, mark next year’s dates (Sept. 26 / 27) on your calendar so that your ladies see it throughout the year.

We prayed and had much discussion whether to continue retreat after 2014 but came to the conclusion that as long as there are ladies who will make the week-end a priority, God must want us to continue. We are already committed to 2014 and have a signed contract with Kavanaugh. PLEASE, plan ahead to attend in 2014. You will be blessed and encouraged and uplifted by the program, the speakers, the fellowship, and the drawing away to a lovely place of quiet.

You will not go away hungry for Spiritual food – or for that which is on the serving tables.



(I encourage church leaders to print this out and make it available to your ladies. Perhaps it will give them the incentive to make the 2014 Retreat a priority.)