Romania has become a second home for me over my years visiting and working here. My love for this place and her people has deepened and I found that moving across the world to work as a mental health therapist was something I was being drawn to. I am a homebody by nature and so this desire was a surprise to nearly everyone who knew me.
My family has been very supportive since the beginning and are still supportive in connection and emotional support from America. After my initial adrenaline season here getting used to some of the biggest cultural changes and learning how to do life in Romania, I find myself with great longing for deep connection. I think this has always been within me but the time away from family and my long-established friendships allowed me to put words to the deeper desire within me – connection, being part of something with others, intimacy, and being seen, accepted and loved for who I am.
As a single woman who has been living and working in Romania for a little over 2 years, this spring found me in a place of needing connection. I have some American expat friends, some Romanian friends, and then some long-distance friends, but this season has increased a need in me for “more” connection. I am a few-close-friends kind of person, but with differing time zones, busy schedules, and juggling of various tasks and relationships, I find that there is a need for more people in my life during this season, and specifically more who know what living in a country that is not your native home is like.
A friend of mine recommended the Velvet Ashes Retreat and when I signed up, I noticed the Connection Groups option and decided I would try it out. I am so grateful that I did. My group met once a week for an hour and was comprised of 8 women in various locations, but it met my deep-rooted desire for connection. It gave my week more routine and structure and allowed for me to make connections with these women.
In the days and weeks since our meeting ended, we have stayed in touch through social connectivity apps, and I feel very strongly that God has used these women in very deep and meaningful ways in this season of my life.
We love Sarah’s story of the encouragement and camaraderie she found in her Velvet Ashes Connection Group!
Connection Groups are online small groups for women living cross-culturally. These groups are led by women just like you. Some are currently living overseas. Some have returned “home” and continue to have the desire to connect with and support women in this cross-cultural life. All of these women have seen the value of connection and been willing to step up and lead.
Groups meet on a variety of different platforms including video chat, private Facebook groups and video messaging or texting. In your group of 4-6 women you will have the opportunity to talk about your life, joys, challenges and how the Father is teaching you or stretching you in this current season.
Groups meet for 10 weeks from September 12 to November 14.
Registration is happening soon! Groups will open for registration on Tuesday, September 7th at 6:00 pm Eastern (22:00 UTC).
You can check out more details on our Connection Group page!