As I stepped up onto the platform and looked out over the room full of beautiful women, my heart was filled with great joy. I cleared the lump of emotion from my throat and welcomed the 150 women gathered for the 2024 Unexplainable Jesus Retreat. Although I’ve experienced Retreat day openings for many years before, this felt different. 

I nicknamed this event the “Come Back” retreat because it was the first Corazón Ministries women’s retreat since 2019. There were familiar faces, and it was good to reconnect with friends who had been with us for years. However, more women were attending a spiritually focused retreat for the first time. Many of these women came to Corazón for ministry during the pandemic. Most were new to studying the Bible and applying the Scriptures to their daily lives. The anticipation and excitement for the day could be seen in the smiles, heard in the laughter and happy conversations that echoed through the Arizona History Museum’s auditorium.

The day began as the hostess warmly greeted the women at beautifully decorated tables that set the stage for the day. Gifts, giveaways, and time to mix and mingle fostered fun and a sense of connection. Then, the worship team took the lead. Their music centered our hearts and spirits toward God and set the spiritual tone for the day. Erica Wiggenhorn, our guest speaker, author, and Bible teacher, then shared her insights into Jesus’ encounters with four women from the Gospels of Luke and John. Her message of Christ’s loving call to come to Him no matter your heart condition, your past, or your doubts resonated with all of us. After her final teaching, Erica led us through a reflection time where the women were asked to write their response to Jesus’ call to come. There was a holy silence in the room as the women opened their gifted journals and penned their thoughts. Joyful tears filled my eyes for the second time that day. 

Praise God. Eight women shared that they came to salvation through faith in Christ for the first time at the Retreat. Many dozens of women reported they recommitted their lives to follow Jesus. More than forty women requested additional Bible study and want to connect with Corazón Ministries. Join me in prayer for these women as they grow and walk with our Lord, the Unexplainable Jesus. – Claire Alameda

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