Empowering women to do whatever God has called them to is certainly something really important to me. I love to see anyone living out their God given dreams and not be confined and defined by gender, age, nationality etc. I have amazing people investing into me, and therefore would love to affirm and confirm potential and leadership in men and women. Being a woman myself, I long to see women being set free from any kind of limitations which are not set by God. I do not feel called just to serve women only, but sometimes it just has to be about them. 🙂

More than four years ago, 4 of us girl friends started to organize a weekend for female younger leaders in Germany. From 13-15 September 2019, we have hosted our fourth version of Curatio – a weekend set aside for younger female leaders bearing responsibility of different kinds. This year, due to a larger house, we welcomed 31 women in total. A great time, also a time of healing, as the word “curatio” suggests.

It is wonderful to see women celebrating each other, also the successes of each other.

Inspired by these weekends and seeing the effect on some of these girls, more than a year ago I dreamt about doing one for millennial female leaders from across Europe. As I met some amazing younger leaders through the Lausanne Movement, I approached Janet and Claire and asked them to consider forming a team. Both agreed and off we went, dreaming and planning together. Sadly, Janet could not attend, so I led this RENOVO, as we called it, together with Claire, from 19-22 September 2019. It was huge fun getting this off the ground. We chose Renovo as we like the meaning of it. Offering a place for renewing, refreshing, refurbishing, reaffirming, reviving, renovating… Something we like to see happen! 

Women we approached from across Europe quickly said yes. Some had been waiting for such a thing; others were ready for a break. We were quickly booked out and went ahead dreaming and planning. Through Facebook intelligence, we found a lovely venue just outside Sofia, Bulgaria (http://pinus.bg/) and only when we got there last weekend, we found out the owners are Christians and they had given us a very good deal.

In the end, we were 18 women from 11 countries. Last minute 3 had to pull out due to work commitments and visa issues. Due to some generous donations via crowd funding, we were able to raise 1200 Euros and sponsor some ladies and be able to provide a bus.

It was indeed a dream come true, as Claire and I stepped into the unknown here. It was so rewarding. It was indeed Renovo for many of us. Claire as a younger leader herself and being the Vice-President of Girls Brigade in Europe, did a fantastic job and co-led amazingly. She truly is an inspiration herself.

Our programme included:

Horse riding (for some the first time as they beat their fears), Jacuzzi, spa in an amazing place, Bible reading, spiritual direction with Tamara, worship, painting, fire, marshmallows, sauna, Earl Grey tea, fun, hiking, morning runs with me or walks with Claire, organic fresh food, hearing life and leadership stories from Melita, session on leadership and pain by myself, the powerful film Hidden Figures, mentoring by Melita and Tamara, chocolate and chocolate and chocolate …

It was deep, refreshing, inspiring, renewing and adding some kilograms to our hips! Having space in the afternoon and hanging out together was great. A final team meeting in the Jacuzzi at midnight was hilarious. On the final morning each of us read a card we had written to one other lady in the room. Affirmation and encouragement in practice.

God showed up! 

As we are debriefing and digesting, we think off doing it again. Praying for God´s guidance here. But first, we thank God for such a great weekend! He surprised us and blessed us so much with amazing ladies, food, sun, location, transportation, Bulgarian hospitality etc.

We feel so blessed for having been able to see a dream come true as we took steps of faith in this direction. And team work just makes the difference! 🙂

#renovo #runtherace #friendship #investinginleaders