Announcing the 2016 Online Retreat!

You’ve been waiting for it.

Our team has been hard at work getting it ready for you.

Today  we get to unveil what the Velvet Ashes Online Retreat has in store for you this year!


Our Retreat Registration page is open now.  Check it out and see all that will be offered to you for a meaningful time of renewal.

The Retreat will be open April 14-17 (U.S. time).  We’ll open it a few days early so that those with slow internet can have time to download everything.  Also, audio files will be available for everything, if your internet won’t allow for all the video.  (Ladies in the bush of Africa, we love you!)

During the Retreat you’ll receive:

  •  A Retreat Guide that will take you step by step through the Retreat experience.
  • Original music, written by Eine Blume just for Velvet Ashes.  You get to download and keep the album!  Perfect to listen to as you pray, journal and meditate on Scripture in the Retreat Guide.
  • Stories from women serving around the world.  We are absolutely awed by what these women have offered.
  • A Holy Yoga video for a holistic worship experience.  If you’ve never done yoga in your life, we encourage you to give this a try.  Anna Feagans of Glorious Ruins Yoga will help you connect to Christ in a beautiful new way.
  • Coloring pages from Lorien Atwood for you to download and print and a custom page by Duco Divina.  Enjoy creative, relaxing fun.
  • A Session video where the Velvet Ashes Leadership Team invites you into a transformational conversation on becoming closer to Christ and farther from fear.

We’ll give you lots of ideas for how to tailor this Retreat time to what you need, and we’ll invite you to process your experience in a live-stream conversation with the VA Leadership Team and in the comments.

New This Year!

Last year some of you took the initiative to gather a group of women to do the Retreat with.  We loved hearing what a sweet time of connection and sharing that was for those groups.  This year we’re providing a Host Guide to help anyone who wants to host a Retreat gathering.  A gathering can be anything from 2 – 100+ people!

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 3.44.55 PM

The options for hosting are as flexible as the Retreat itself.  You can host an overnight, full day, half day, or two hour gathering.  We’ve crafted it so that a Retreat gathering can provide solitude and community.  When you sign up to be a host, you’ll be invited to a private “Retreat Host” Facebook group, where we’ll share ideas, answer questions and pray for each other.

Gather a group of ladies you know or find and connect with other women in your area through our Community Map.  Put yourself on the Map so others can find you!


We figured some of you may still have questions.  So here are some answers.  Feel free to ask more questions in the comments.

“What exactly IS an online retreat?”  

It’s a time for you to get alone with God.  To step away from busyness and responsibility and serving others.  It’s a time for you to get filled up.  Velvet Ashes provides you with the resources (listed above) to walk you through a meaningful time of connection with him.  You’ll be inspired and challenged from videos.  And you’ll be invited into rest and renewal.

“Who is it for?  I’m not a woman serving overseas, but this sounds like something I need!”

You are welcome!  While the Retreat is crafted especially for women who are serving overseas or who have returned from life overseas, so much of the Retreat content is universal to all women.  We all want to be closer to Christ and farther from fear.

“How long should I plan?”

Overnight – Ideally, we’d love for everyone to get away for a whole night and day.  Find a hotel or guest house where you can retreat.  We know that won’t be possible for everyone.  But do try.  Use the VA Retreat as an invitation to care for your soul in a way that you normally wouldn’t allow yourself.  Because chances are, you need it.

Full day – If you can’t do an overnight, a full day will still be a wonderfully renewing time.  This will give you space to relax, go slowly and enjoy.

Half day – A half day will allow you to participate and take in the Retreat.  And you will be blessed.  So if a half day is what you can manage, do it.  You may feel a bit rushed to get through all the videos (you don’t have to do them all, but we have a feeling you’ll want to).  You’ll still be able to have an hour for Scripture meditation and journaling, a little over an hour of testimonies, an hour of yoga, and a final hour of the session video.

“But I have small children!”

Then you are definitely in need of this Retreat.  Can we gently nudge you to ask for help so you can have this time?  Ask your husband to be on kid duty.  Swap babysitting with another mom.  Entrust a local friend.  Maybe you stay close enough to nurse the baby who won’t take a bottle.  Maybe you retreat to your bedroom and lock the door.  Whatever it looks like, this can happen for you too.  You just need to ask for help.

“How much does it cost?”

We’re running this Retreat on a “give what you can” policy.  We’re suggesting a $10 donation to help cover the Retreat costs. But also, don’t let money prevent you from participating.  If you’d like to make a larger gift, that will help sponsor other women.


Are you tired? Worn down?  Wondering where that light and easy yoke is that Jesus talked about?  Get away with him and find out.  He’s prepared a table before you, and he’s inviting you to come and commune…

Register here.

commune post image 2


So does this sound like something you need? 

Tell us, where in the world will you be Retreating?

For the ladies that participated last year, what did you most enjoy about the Retreat?  What are you looking forward to about this year’s Retreat?

Help us spread the word so that other women can experience this time with God!


  1. Kim A. March 1, 2016

    Yippee!!  I was so blessed last year at the retreat and God did a deep work that brought much healing from our first year on the field.  So looking forward to this!  I will be doing it from Torremolinos, Spain and am looking forward to great refreshing!

    1. Danielle Wheeler March 2, 2016

      So glad, Kim!  Your comment reminds me of a quote from John Ortberg’s book Soul Keeping.  It says something to the effect of “You can’t bring healing to your soul.  You can just give your soul space for healing to occur.”  I feel like that is what the Retreat is for, to give your soul the time and space for God to come and do his healing restoration.

      Thrilled to have you joining from Spain!

  2. Brittany March 2, 2016

    Excited to be taking part in the retreat this year! Thanks for all you guys have done to work out such a special thing for us!

  3. Danielle B. March 2, 2016

    I’m so happy you have an audio only option this year! I’m one of the ladies in the African bush and my internet is waaaay to slow for video. I registered last year, but was unable to watch ANY of the video. It was extremely disappointing.. I am so so happy for the audio option and I will definitely be participating this year!! Thank you!

    1. Danielle Wheeler March 2, 2016

      Ah, that makes me so sad to hear about last year for you!  Last year was our first go at this, and we learned so much.  We’re excited to offer the audio option this year and are thrilled you’ll be joining!

  4. Kate March 2, 2016

    Been in a rough place spiritually lately, so looking forward to this. Particularly as God blessed me with a great deal on a lovely hotel room to retreat too 🙂

    1. Danielle Wheeler March 2, 2016

      Hooray for a hotel room! That’s so great!  Praying for God to prepare you for this time and to meet you there, Kate.

  5. Faith March 2, 2016

    I was looking forward to sharing this with my m women until the “holy yoga” announcement. Just the mention of that would call into question the spiritual integrity of the retreat among some of our people. I’m sorry you included that, because I think the overall concept of the retreat is wonderful.

    1. Danielle Wheeler March 2, 2016

      Hi Faith, I appreciate your concern.  We understand that some people may have hesitations about the yoga because of some of it’s connections to eastern religions.  But let me assure you that “Holy Yoga” is a completely Christian/Christ-centered, redemptive approach to yoga.

      Also know that it is just an optional part of the Retreat itself.  Our Retreat Guide will offer several options to choose from, so that each person can have a time tailored to them. 

      Again, we understand your concern. Thanks for bringing it up.

  6. Tammy March 3, 2016

    Since we can download the sessions, does this mean that we can choose when we watch them? I’m not sure if the dates you listed will work for me.

    1. Danielle Wheeler March 3, 2016

      We’re encouraging everyone to participate during the dates, so we can experience it together as a community, to process and share.  But yes, everything is downloadable, for you to keep and use when you want!

  7. Julie in Germany March 3, 2016

    My response was similar to Faith’s – I thought the retreat was a nice idea, but I was really surprised to see yoga being included. 

  8. T March 3, 2016

    my friend in the USA does Christian yoga, with Bible verses to meditate on and all.  she loves it!  i was actually excited to see it (and was thinking i could do it more than once!), and also the coloring pages!!!!!  🙂  thanks, guys!

    1. Danielle Wheeler March 3, 2016

      Yes, the yoga is centered on Bible meditation and prayer!  We’re excited for women to be able to keep the video and continue to use it!  And we knew there were coloring page lovers out there.  🙂

  9. Cecily March 5, 2016

    I’m confused about the registration form for the retreat.  Am I creating a new account, even though I have been to the retreat before?  I clicked on the place that asked if I already had an account, but I didn’t know what was happening.  Sorry to be so confused 🙁  Maybe you addressed this somewhere, but I didn’t read the fine print.  Anyway, thanks for putting this all together!

    1. Danielle Wheeler March 5, 2016

      Hi Cecily,

      This is a great question!  Each year is a new registration process.  So yes, you’ll need to register/create a new account for this year’s retreat.  Excited you’ll be joining us again!



  10. Vivian Ochoa March 6, 2016


    Thanks for doing this.  Is there any way the retreat files may be available by April 8th?  A friend and I are going on a retreat to a place with ho internet on the 10th and it would be great to be able to use this.


  11. Jennifer March 18, 2016

    Hi this looks amazing!  I am so glad that someone recommended it to me.  One question though. My Days off are Mondays.  Would it be possible to download all the content before hand and then do the retreat Sunday afternoon the 17th and Monday the 18th?

  12. Cecily March 19, 2016

    I was trying to look at the host guide, but when I downloaded it in either form, I could see only the front cover.  Do I have to sign up to be a host before I can look at the guide?  I want to look at it to see if it is something I want to try to do.

    1. Danielle Wheeler March 19, 2016

      Hi Cecily, the whole guide is available for download here:  If you are only seeing the front cover, then it didn’t download completely, so just try again.  Hope that helps!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.