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    Korea-wide women’s retreat takes place for the third year

    Korea-wide women's retreat takes place for third year

    Photo By Monica Guthrie | Chaplain (Capt.) Nikki Reeves, Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital and 121st...... read more read more



    Story by Jeff Nagan 

    USAG Humphreys

    CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – More than 160 women from across the Korean peninsula gathered for a Christian women’s retreat, March 1-3 in Seoul. This was the third year for the We Grow Together retreat which was organized by three women at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Allie Newman, Breanna Bowlen and Monica Guthrie.

    “The We Grow Together Christian women’s retreat was started to give women in Korea the chance to grow in their faith while hopefully creating bonds that went beyond the retreat,” said Newman. “Being in Korea can be hard and very isolating for both service members and spouses. We wanted women to know they are not alone in their phase of their life. We provided a space to be with God and meet like-minded women from about the peninsula. “

    Newman and Guthrie both served the previous two years, bringing on Bowlen to assist with coordination. The main speaker was Chap. (Capt.) Nikki Reeves, Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital, and 121st Field Hospital chaplain who spoke on the event’s theme: Be Still and Know.

    “For my messages, I wanted the women to hear messages of encouragement focused on fearless faith, confident job, and peaceful awe,” said Reeves. “All three areas are applicable regardless of the season of life or the issues an individual is facing.”

    Guthrie said the success of the event was reflected by an overarching understanding of the need for the retreat.

    “While we certainly get some support from the various faith communities, this isn’t a chapel-led, or (religious support office)-led event. It’s just a group of women who saw the need to reach out and chose to act,” said Guthrie. “We were amazed our first year at the response from the women who attended, many of commenting on how encouraged they felt and how revitalizing the experience was for them – and we weren’t the only ones who noticed the impact as well. We are so fortunate to have the support from outside organizations that chose to donate both time and resources.”

    Bowlen said volunteers were key to making the event a success. The retreat organized the women into smaller tables, each of which led by a volunteer. Additionally, the worship team was comprised of all volunteers as were the speakers.

    “We Grow Together is dependent on volunteers,” said Bowlen. “We were extremely fortunate to have had so many women step into these volunteer positions. Having volunteers from around the peninsula really helps knit the experience together. Volunteers not only provide a touch point for those located at each installation, but also served as a gateway to each other’s communities.”

    Reeves said with women making up a smaller percentage of the active-duty work force, it was important to have opportunities to build healthy and helpful peer relationships.

    “Especially at an (overseas) duty station, it’s incredibly helpful to spend time with others that understand the sacrifices, demands and priorities that make up the active-duty lifestyle,” said Reeves. “I was excited to spend time with women of like faith. It’s a unique opportunity, especially for me as a female chaplain. I was also really excited about the opportunity to pour into women’s lives with some encouraging messages, conversations, and times in prayer.”


    Date Taken: 03.22.2024
    Date Posted: 03.22.2024 00:16
    Story ID: 466812

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