Women of the Ouachitas (WOO)
Over the last several years, we have seen the impact and transformation in the lives of literally hundreds of men who have attended a Men of the Ouachitas (MOO) retreat. After many months of prayer, planning, and preparation, Women of the Ouachitas (WOO) was launched with a pilot group of four women in March of 2018. Under the direction and leadership of Jamie Carson, Tonia Lambert and Rhonda Golden, this storytelling weekend has been designed to help women take an intentional look back through their story to gain a deeper understanding of God, themselves, and His purpose for their lives. But, please don’t misunderstand! Despite the similarity in names, this is not an exact replication of the men’s retreat. WOO has been uniquely designed to reflect the needs and desires of women and is a place where compassion and encouragement are extended, bonds are formed and relationships strengthened.
In October 2018, ten more women shared in this experience at WOO2 and next weekend another eight women will begin their journey together as part of WOO3. It is our hope that every woman at Lake Valley will one day share in this life-changing event. There is redemption in being fully known for who we are…for who God created us to be. It can be exhausting when we try to hide the messy parts of our lives and always strive to put on a good face, but there is freedom in being transparent and sometimes vulnerable in allowing others to see God’s direction and abundant grace in our lives. Revealing our stories is revealing His story.
Hear the impact of WOO on the hearts of three recent participants…
“Having been on several spiritual retreats, I thought I had an idea of what to expect, but boy did God have a surprise for me! Being an only child, I always felt lonely growing up, but God has now given me 16 sisters that I will cherish the rest of my life and beyond! During the WOO2 gathering in October 2018, God showed me so much about myself that I had buried deep in order to cope. He gave me assurance that how I dealt with those things then and how he has cleansed those things now, has indeed made me a new creation! On top of that, I now have a special bond with each and every woman that shared this experience with me. The love shown to each one of us will last forever.”
“When I was invited to attend WOO2, I declined due to a scheduling conflict. However, God had another plan for me and my conflict was cancelled. I was very apprehensive about attending, but those feelings quickly subsided, as a sense of belonging quickly calmed my fears. WOO helped me better understand how tragedies have shaped my character, as well as how God has helped me through them. This experience allowed me to see in God’s eyes I am enough, and need to embrace who I am. I felt a true sense of community that Christ refers to while attending the WOO2 retreat. Thanks Lake Valley for this phenomenal program!”
“My WOO experience was everything I had hoped it would be. I enjoyed the ladies I spent the weekend with and am glad I got to share it with them. You definitely create bonds after a weekend of sharing who you are with other people. I hope every woman at Lake Valley gets to experience WOO and can see the impact it can have on them spiritually. I pray that every future participant can see that God can use who you are and where you have been to impact others throughout your life. The leaders and servants were beyond awesome. You could tell from the moment you arrived that they wanted to serve you. I am forever grateful that I got to be a part of such an amazing weekend with a wonderful group of ladies.”
Both WOO4 and WOO5 are scheduled for later this year. Won’t you consider being a part of this growing community of women? – DORELLE HOGAN