After closing down operations last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Falls Creek Conference Center has opened its doors to host guests again. This past weekend, women from all over Oklahoma and surrounding states gathered together for the Oklahoma Baptists Foundation’s Women’s Retreat.
The event took place at the Falls Creek Conference Center. This one-day retreat consisted of two main breakout sessions featuring four female keynote speakers: Chrystal Evans Hurst Katherine Wolf, Lina AbuJamra and Laura Perry.
Worship was lead by a female artist: Eden Trentham. The Retreat had two main breakout sessions with Hurst and Wolf speaking during the morning breakout and AbuJamra and Perry following in the afternoon breakout. The Oklahoma Baptists website shares the unique accolades of all of the retreat’s special guests at https://www.oklahomabaptists.org/women/retreat.
According to Oklahoma Baptists’ website, “Chrystal Hurst is an energetic, fun-loving ‘girl-next-door’ who loves to encourage other women in fulfilling their full potential in Christ. Chrystal firmly believes God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, ‘I know the plans that I have for you…’ and she desires to help other Christian women believe and apply that truth to their lives.”
The page also gives a rundown on Hurst’s resume.
“Chrystal is a gifted writer, speaker and worship leader. Being the eldest child of Dr. Tony and Lois Evans, Chrystal been surrounded by the Word of God her entire life. As a member of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Chrystal assists in leading the women’s ministry and loves to encourage women toward a deeper relationship with the Lord,” the website says.
“Chrystal has recently co-authored a book, Kingdom Woman, with her dad. Most importantly, Chrystal is a dedicated wife and homeschooling mother of five. She considers herself to be the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of the Hurst household. Chrystal and her husband, Jessie reside in a small town just outside of Dallas, Texas.”
The Oklahoma Baptist’s website also comments on Hurst’s fellow speaker, Katherine Wolf.
“Katherine is a communicator and advocate. She married her husband Jay in 2004 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Their son, James was born in 2007 and six months later Katherine’s life nearly ended with a catastrophic stroke. Miraculously, she survived and continues her recovery to this day, including having a miracle baby, John, in 2015,” the website says.
“Katherine and Jay have shared their journey of steadfast hope through their books, Hope Heals and Suffer Strong and at speaking events both live and online before millions. Together, they founded Hope Heals camp, a community for families with disabilities like them. Katherine, Jay and their two sons live in the Atlanta area.”
In-between sessions, the ladies who attended were able to enjoy various snacks and refreshments from the 1917 Café as well as shop for the latest Falls Creek merchandise at the gift shop. The event was staffed with current and former Falls Creek summer staffers. Kirstin Piatt is a Falls Creek summer staffer who was the gift shop supervisor for the summer of 2019, managed the gift shop during the retreat and shared what it was like being back on campgrounds and working.
“I really enjoyed being able to work the women’s retreat this year. It was so cool to see so many women on the grounds,” Piatt said.
“One particularly special aspect of the retreat was when some ladies visited the gift shop and saw a banner that the pastor of their church had designed and donated to the gift shop hanging on the wall. The women bought the banner and planned to bring it to their church service the next morning to surprise their pastor. Overall, working this retreat was such a fun time.”
After the lunch break, the afternoon session commenced with the final two speakers Lina AbuJamra and Laura Perry and a worship service led by Eden Trentham. Oklahoma Baptists’ website shares details on the final retreat guests on their website.
According to Oklahoma Baptists’ website, “Lina AbuJamra is a Pediatric ER doctor, now practicing telemedicine and founder of Living with Power Ministries and She Gives Hope. Her vision is to bring hope to the world by connecting biblical answers to everyday life. A popular Bible teacher, blogger and conference speaker, she is the author of several books and the host of the Living with Power Hope Podcast.”
The website commented on how AbuJamra is currently spreading the Gospel.
“Lina is also ministering to singles through her Today’s Single Christian show on Moody Radio and is engaged in providing medical care and humanitarian help to Syrian refugees in the Middle East. She is single and calls Chicago home,” the website says.
The Oklahoma Baptist’s website also provided information on the life of final speaker Laura Perry.
“Laura Perry lived as a transgender man for nearly 9 years, undergoing two major surgeries towards transition. But as the result of many prayers, the Lord drew her heart towards Himself and she was radically transformed by Jesus Christ,” the website says.
“She now writes and speaks, encouraging the Church to stand firm in the faith without compromise, but to have compassion for those who struggle. She has also had the privilege to tell her story on a variety of platforms including radio, video, TV and more. Her story has been an encouragement to both parents and strugglers as a testimony to the resurrecting power of Christ.”
The website also provided a rundown of the life of worship leader Eden Trentham.
“Eden Trentham is a worship leader and singer-songwriter of contemporary Christian music. She was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she grew up in a family full of music and singing. Her hope is that through music and worship all people will see and experience Gods faithfulness and be encouraged to pursue a relationship with him,” the website says.
Women of all ages were encouraged and able to attend this year’s women’s retreat. Avery Robertson, a senior sports and recreation management major, was in attendance and shared her most enjoyable moments of the retreat as well as some things she learned.
“I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s retreat with my mom and my future mother in law,” Robertson said.
“My favorite part of the retreat was getting to hear from women that are each struggling with something in their own way. It reminded me that I am not alone and that there are so many women around me walking the same path. The Lord is so faithful and creates such an amazing community of believers to surround us while we are on this side of heaven.”