Recently, the first Hispanic Women’s Retreat for the Iowa-Missouri Conference took place in Kansas City, Missouri.
Over 145 women registered for the event, filling almost every seat in the event space. Among these women, 15 were non-Adventist. In addition to attendees from both Iowa and Missouri, there were also women from Nebraska.
The two-day event featured guest speaker Elizabeth Talbot. Talbot presented three different times during the event. Talbot, who is involved in many media ministries, said she enjoys presenting to both an online audience and an in-person audience. Talbot said, however, women’s retreats are special.
“Women’s retreats are like a little island in time in which women kind of put all their things aside as far as family, husbands, kids, cooking, etc. And they’re just here present completely, mind, body and soul. And I love that about women’s retreats,” Talbot said.
The event also featured several times of prayer, music and giveaways. Each non-Adventist attendee was recognized and received a gift. Every woman received a book by Talbot and a shirt. Women were also selected to win various prizes provided by the different churches represented.
On Sabbath morning, several women dressed up as women Bible characters and presented a monologue as the character. After lunch, there was an interactive activity, where women were encouraged to let go of any burdens they might be carrying. This was followed by a couple women sharing their personal testimonies and several special music’s.
After Talbot finished her final presentation, the event ended with a group photo and discussions for next year’s retreat. During this discussion, attendees vocalized the desire to hold a retreat again next year.
“We need another [Hispanic Women’s Retreat] every year once a year so we can be blessed and learn something we can apply in our home, in our family and with our friends,” said Ester Sanchez, an attendee.
Sanchez had previously attended Hispanic women’s retreats in other conferences but was thankful for a retreat in her own conference. Sanchez said it made it easier to attend and gave her the opportunity to invite local friends.
“I like how we have a retreat in Spanish because now I can invite neighbors who don’t speak or understand English well,” Sanchez said.
Charo Felix, the IA-MO Conference Hispanic women’s ministries leader, said she was pleased with the retreat and is already thinking of next year’s.
“I am very happy because the number of people who came to our very first Hispanic Women’s Retreat was very large,” Felix said.
Event planning began in 2020, when Carlos Tamay, Hispanic ministries director for the IA-MO Conference, asked each Hispanic church’s women’s ministries leader to help plan the event. The team, which consisted of eight women, planned a retreat for 2021. However, due to Covid concerns, the event was cancelled.
The group did not give up, and continued to work to make the event possible, resulting in this year’s women’s retreat.
“Before, we did not have our own Hispanic Women’s Retreat. But we worked really hard, with the help of the conference, and now we have our own,” Felix said.