Hispanic women challenged to ‘Get Up and Walk’

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LEESBURG— More than 400 Hispanic women, representing 40 Florida Baptist churches stretching from the Panhandle to South Florida, gathered March 5-6 at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg for the annual Florida Baptist Hispanic Women’s Retreat.

The retreat’s theme this year, Levántate y Anda (Get Up and Walk), focused on John 5:8, and challenged attendees to take up their lives again, since the pandemic, like the lame man picked up his mat and walked.

“Coming out of the pandemic many women stopped going to church, stopped being involved with God’s things, and let themselves go because they were home all day under quarantine,” said Claudia Rojas, leader of the Florida Baptist Hispanic Women’s Committee.

“We wanted to bring a theme that would encourage women back into God’s things and to remind them that they are beautiful.”

The women were challenged by a message from Ramon Medina, global pastor of Champion Forest Baptist Church’s Spanish Ministries in Houston, Texas, as well as from Nancy Pineda and Yudit Bermundes who led sessions encouraging women to get back to their church ministries and to take care of themselves. Connie Lamb also led a similar conference geared for the 12 young women attending the retreat.

“From my standpoint, it was just a very sweet time together. There was a lot of unity,” said Cindy Bradley, who leads women’s missions and ministry/missions’ education for the Florida Baptist Convention.

Many women came forward during an altar call to pray, while many prayed from their seats.

“God was in everything. Usually, there is some complaint about the food or the room, but there wasn’t a single complaint about any of that,” said Rojas.

“One woman had recently become a Christian, and she said that the retreat made her grow significantly in her faith,” shared Rojas.

Bradley encourages all Hispanic women to register for next year’s retreat.

“Any woman who wants to be inspired, challenged and refreshed, I would recommend you attend this conference,” Bradley said.

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