“This is what heaven must look like,” I said to my daughter, as we heard Siri announce, “Welcome to Colorado”; white, paradise-like peeks, sparkling streams, and life that seeped deep into our lungs effortlessly as we breathed in fully, the fresh-mountain air.
We had been to Denver twice, attending two previous Missional Women Conferences from the Northwest corner city of Seattle; but 2019’s retreat was different. Nestled in a glorious, mountainous region, every ounce of the wondrous birch trees, evergreens, and strikingly stunning magpie birds seemed to point us to His fame.
The soul stilled, without commanding, the moment our car twisted up along the windy road, where a picture-perfect lodge waited with clean sheets, a spacious room, and a space where we could meet with God, personally, and collectively, all striving quieted by His creation.
The temperature was perfect; sunny and warm, yet white covered the earth in late April, as if grace had already blanketed itself, long before our feet ever came to Colorado.
Women had flown from New York, Texas, and Montana. Dispositions contented, hearts rested, minds stilled as the earth we settled upon. “Hope” was the theme of this year’s conference.
Wisdom spoke through table conversations, speakers we listened to, and personal conversations clearly orchestrated by grace and seemingly God himself. Better yet, God confirmed His Sovereignty, as we painted rocks, made bracelets and played games that erupted in laughter, bonding, and connectedness through relationship with those we were sitting next to.
If you have not met the down-to-earth people of Durango, shut off your phone and separated yourself unto Jesus, or driven to where it seems earth meets heaven, consider coming to next year’s Missional Women Conference.
Below are a few take-a-ways from this year’s retreat.
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.