Katie Ancheta is the executive director of the Friends of Bethany foundation and the Beautifully Flawed Retreat. The team just wrapped up the third annual Beautifully Flawed Retreat in Southern California. This is a retreat for women amputees, ages 14-24. Walking on Water has partnered with the Beautifully Flawed retreat each year, offering fun and inspiring surf lessons to the girls. Katie shared with us a bit about the retreat and what God is doing through it.
Song of Solomon 4:7 is the theme verse for the retreat: “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Katie says that through that verse, Bethany explains to the girls: “We all see ourselves as flawed and with a problem. But God sees us as beautiful, exactly as we are.” That is the message these girls…and all people…need to hear.
The Beautifully Flawed retreat attracts girls with a variety of backgrounds. Sharing hope and inspiration, the retreat does not end when the week is over. Instead, a team of women follow-up and offer long-term mentorship to everyone who attends. Many stories of changed lives have come out of the retreat each year. Just this year, Katie tells of one girl who in all of her life had never let anyone outside of her immediate family see her amputated arm without a prosthesis on. After spending time with so many other girls who were comfortable and confident without wearing a prosthesis, this girl decided to take hers off as well. For the final days of the retreat she didn’t even bother to put her prosthesis back on. Her life had been changed.
One girl who grew up in a “religious” home was blown away by the love of God during the retreat. On the second day of the retreat, after hearing Bethany speak, she gave her life to Christ. This girl said that she had never heard someone talk about God in a way that made sense to her before.
Find out more about Friends of Bethany at www.friendsofbethany.com