How One Week of Serving Strengthens A Friendship
JULY 15, 2016
Delaney Dotson and Abbey Gritters share the unbreakable bond of friendship, and also a heart for serving others and sharing God’s love through action. These two best friends served together at Lighthouse Family Retreat during Retreat Nine to bring joy, peace, and renewal to the Matthis family. Delaney and Abbey both left the retreat with a contagious joy that comes with witnessing God’s faithful presence and serving the retreat families.
During the week, Delaney and Abby served the family all their meals, played in the pool with them, and worshipped together each morning and night. They connected with the Matthis girls, Heather (17) and Alli (10), for a small glimpse into their life stories.
“I was able to see the light of God shine through each of these girls and just how strong the family is even when they are going through such a hard time in their life. They never stop smiling even on the hardest days,” Abbey remarks.
Delaney, who has served with her family at Lighthouse Family Retreat for the last six years, says that serving alongside Abbey was “such a cool experience.” For one week each summer since she began coming, she has poured her time and energy into serving the families at Lighthouse Family Retreat creating bonds lasting far beyond the week. Yet, this summer with Abbey there, they were able to witness together the renewal and restoration that takes place within the hearts of the retreat families. Not only was serving together at Lighthouse tons of fun, but also an impactful learning experience for both girls.
“My eyes have been opened and I’ve learned so much,” Delaney said.“I have learned that God shows up and gives people peace and joy in the darkest times. He is our one and only hope. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a small part of it.”
For Abbey, serving at Lighthouse was unlike any experience she has ever had. Amazed by the strength and joy of the retreat families, Abbey could not wipe the smile off her face.
“Lighthouse is a place where the retreat families are supposed to be changed by resting, experiencing joy, and finding hope in God, but Lighthouse has also changed me. I was able to see the light of God shine through so many people we met.”
Delaney commented, “It’s hard for people who haven’t experienced it to understand how you can be complete strangers with people on Monday, and honestly feel like family by Friday.”
Together, these best friends connected with families, laughed until their bellies ached, experienced contagious joy, and left the beach knowing that God’s faithful presence, a positive attitude and a smile is the greatest hope.