The SBC Women Ministries Retreat held in San Salvador, Bahamas, from 6th - 9th October 2023, was a resounding success through the grace and mercies of God. The Retreat brought together approximately 101 women from throughout the South Bahamas Conference. Under the theme, "Relax, Release, Restore, Together," this Retreat encapsulated the spirit of the event as participants came together for a weekend filled with spiritual rejuvenation, fellowship, and personal growth.

Apart from the ladies from the host island of San Salvador, women from other family islands of the Bahamas, including New Providence, Long Island, Eleuthera, North Andros, South Andros, and Grand Bahama, came together to make this Retreat a genuinely diverse and enriching experience. The unity among these women was evident throughout the weekend and fostered a sense of togetherness and sisterhood.

A highlight of the Retreat was the dynamic messages delivered by Arleen Sands, Women's Ministries Director for the Atlantic Caribbean Union. These messages inspired participants to embrace relaxation, release their burdens, and seek restoration.

The Retreat also featured a variety of exciting programs, including an Ole Time Gospel Concert for the Friday evening vesper service.  Heather-Dawn Small, General Conference Women's Ministries Director led out in a Virtual Bible Art Journaling Workshop for the Sabbath afternoon service.  Participants were also engaged in an inspiring early-morning Prayer Activity, which culminated with a powerful charge by Sheena Johnson.  Additionally, participants shared their Angel Stories of the Goodness of God in an “On Da Porch” Session.

These activities allowed participants to take an introspective look at their spiritual lives and helped them gain many valuable insights into their spiritual growth and self-care. The various programs throughout the Retreat were filled with lively testimonies that touched the hearts of many.

The fellowship during mealtime fostered camaraderie and provided opportunities for women to connect throughout the weekend. The fellowship extended beyond formal sessions, as attendees built lasting relationships during casual gatherings such as the island tour and beach/pool picnics.

The retreat was an enriching, rewarding, and spiritually fulfilling event. We thank God for traveling mercies, and for providing this opportunity for the women from our various Bahamian islands to unite, relax, release, and restore their spirits. An extraordinary thanks is extended to our Retreat Coordinator, Darlene Deveaux, and her dynamic team of ladies for an excellent job in making this Retreat an unforgettable experience. We are also grateful to Arleen Sands, Heather-Dawn Small, and Sheena Johnson for their inspiring presentations.

Thanks to all attendees, especially our non-Adventist visitors, who traveled to San Salvador.  Special thanks are also extended to Michelle Williams and her team from the Riding Rock Resort and Marina, and the owners and staff of Hanna House, Sands Hotel, and Sugarloaf Beach Cottage for the accommodations. We praise God for our wonderful sisters from the Cockburn Town SDA church led by Elders Michelle Williams and Karen Hepburn, for their incredible hospitality during the weekend. This Retreat served as a testament to the strength and resilience of the SBC women of faith who are united in prayer, purpose, and passion.

-Sis. Carla Rodgers, South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Women’s Ministries Director