This past weekend took us to Hawick, located in the Scottish Borders region about 90 minutes south of Edinburgh. This is the region noted for production of wool, knits and cashmere. You can certainly see that by the number of sheep which dot pretty much every single hill. Thousands upon thousands of sheep and baby lambs brought smiles to, and high pitched squeals from both of us as we drove through the countryside.
Our weekend was held at Whitchester Christian Guest House which is just outside of Hawick and surrounded by some of the most peaceful and breathtaking pastoral scenes we’ve ever seen. It was the perfect place for a Dash Away. Added to the beautiful setting was picture perfect weather – the warmest days we have had since we’ve been here. It was very mild (dare we say “warm?”) and sunny.
Since March, we have been including a contemporary version of a Labyrinth for the ladies to experience during the afternoon free time. Labyrinths are ancient tools used in contemplative prayer. Although it looks like a maze, it has only one path in to the center, and then the same path back out. It is a tool to help focus attention, encourage listening and guide prayer into letting go of distractions and noise and releasing offense and forgiveness. In the center a space for just you and God. The outward journey reengages you with the world around you, allowing God to show you how He sees you, appreciating the role you play as you allow God to use you in His plan and becoming more aware of the impact you have on those around you. It’s a powerful tool, one that consistently receives a great deal of positive feedback from the ladies. The room we used to set up these interactive stations this weekend had access to the outside. Since we had such a gorgeous day, the cross outside became “Holy Space,” Station 6, where the ladies spent time alone with God and also received Communion.
Every Dash Away is its own, unique package. They are all so very different because the combination of ladies, the location, the timing – everything is unique to itself. The most consistent part about any weekend is its uniqueness. Well, that’s mostly true. The most consistent part about every Dash Away is the presence of God and His faithfulness to come be with us, to move powerfully among us and to change us through an experience/encounter with Who He really is and how He really feels about us. DA #16 was no exception.
We often get a push back from the enemy leading up to these weekends because he knows he is going to lose ground. Some weekends, he seems to work harder than others because somehow he knows he needs to be really scared because of what God is going to do. He was working overtime this weekend, even to the point of our host venue fighting through some things in the kitchen that “never happen.” The good news is that the enemy always loses! It doesn’t matter how hard he tried, God still did some incredibly powerful, life changing, paradigm shifting work in these women during the weekend. Beverly had the privilege of praying for 4 ladies on Saturday afternoon, each of whom received huge, life changing breakthroughs, revelations and healing.
This is why we do what we do. We never get used to seeing God move so personally in the lives of the women who attend. He is healing His Bride. He is moving us toward our true destiny as carriers of His Kingdom. What a privilege and honor to be called to steward these moments of encounter.
These weekends are powerful for the ladies who attend, but they are not the only ones who benefit. Our team is also growing and maturing spiritually. For Melinda and myself specifically, each Dash Away presents us with another opportunity to grow deeper in our dependence on God – because what we’re doing is waaaaay beyond our own ability. We are also getting stronger in our calling to steward these moments of encounter and are being stretched and better equipped to minister beyond our comfort zones.
We appreciate your continued prayer for us, for strength, for continued health, for protection as we travel and for restorative rest. The weekends take a lot out of us physically in and of themselves. Adding travel to that, we pretty much shut down for a few days in between doing our best to conserve energy for the weekend ahead. Thank you for holding our arms up!
Next up, back to the YWAM base in West Kilbride on the west coast where we will meet 13 new ladies for Dash Away #17