The theme of the 2020 Oklahoma Baptists Women’s Retreat will be “Gifts,” and is based on 2 Cor. 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
Those attending the event, April 17-18, may consider the experience a gift, as Amy Cordova describes why the annual event at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center is something women cherish.
“One of the best parts of attending Women’s Retreat is the fellowship women experience with the ladies from their church,” said Cordova who serves as missions and women’s ministry partner for Oklahoma Baptists. “There will be great opportunities for women to make memories but also learn from the Word, to worship together. What I hope is that the relationships that are developed at Women’s Retreat will last beyond the 24 hours that we’re at Falls Creek, and oftentimes they do. That’s what makes it so special.”
All the regular Falls Creek activities will be available for Women’s Retreat participants, and the lineup of keynote speakers include a few favorites from previous retreats.
Jennie Allen is an award-winning and bestselling author who last spoke at the 2014 Women’s Retreat. She is the founder of IF:Gathering, a Gospel-centered community that helps equip women with resources and events “so they can learn who God is and disciple (other) women.”
“Jennie just came out with a book called ‘Get Out of Your Head,’” Cordova said. “It’s a fantastic book; it’s already a bestseller. People are going to enjoy the content of her teaching.”
Another Women’s Retreat favorite speaker is Lina Abujamra who is a pediatric ER doctor and author. This will be Abujamra’s fourth appearance at Women’s Retreat.
“Oklahoma loves Lina, and she loves Falls Creek,” Cordova said. “For those who have been to women’s retreat before, they know Lina loves her fried pies and driving around in a golf cart. She gets a lot of laughs, but she’s a powerful speaker. She’s very passionate about the Lord.”
Laura Perry will be making her first appearance as a keynote speaker at Women’s Retreat, but she is well-known among Oklahoma Baptists. Her story was first told through the Baptist Messenger with an article titled “Transgendered to Transformed,” which is the same title of her autobiography.
“What I like about Laura and her story is she grew up in the ‘local Baptist church,’ just like many of us,” Cordova said. “Though she went through a rough patch, she found Jesus who has given her life abundantly. She lives that every day, and now Laura is sharing the hope of Jesus with others. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Perry lived as a transgender male for nearly nine years before making a profession of faith in Christ. She has been redeemed back to her God-given female identity and now ministers to those struggling with their sexual identity.
“As Oklahoma Baptists, we talk about embracing brokenness as an opportunity to advance the Gospel,” Cordova said. “When we see our family members and our close friends broken, we know that only the Gospel can heal their broken hearts. Laura makes that come alive. Her mom’s small group never quit praying for her. They never gave up on her. And I want women to know it’s not too late. God’s not done yet. Keep praying with childlike faith that Jesus can do anything. Laura is a testimony of that.”
Leading worship through music at the Women’s Retreat will be Eden Trentham who serves at Owasso, First with her husband Brandon who is the children’s pastor.
The deadline to register for Women’s Retreat is Monday, March 16, but Cordova said it may be possible for the event to sell out prior to the date. Registration for adults is $75, and for students ages 14-17, the cost is $50. To register and for more information, visit bgcowomen.org.
“Women’s Retreat is located in a place that’s near and dear to all of our hearts,” Cordova said. “It’s such a special place to experience, but on top of that, we are gathering with other churches. Last year we had more than 400 churches involved. We get to gather with churches from all over the state and come together to worship Jesus and it’s the most beautiful thing to experience.”