They were asked to thoughtfully consider whether or not they cultivate a fertile soil in themselves so as to transform the new seeds of knowledge and experience gained through the WEP into positive fruits in their personal and professional lives. We read the Parable of the Sower to guide them in this reflection. Some had a hard time sitting in silence, as they are used to being in constant motion: looking after children, cleaning, cooking, going to the market, and running a business. Others would have liked to have extended the silence, allowing themselves more time to take a profound look inside.
The retreat also offered time for the women to work collaboratively in putting together a puzzle and reflect on their own personal contribution to “the big picture,” recognizing that we are all part of a larger whole, including family, church, and community, and that through our words and actions we can both consciously and unconsciously make a positive or negative impact. We finished the retreat by planting the idea that as they become a more fertile soil and produce positive fruits in their families, businesses and communities, they will, in turn, become the sowers and, thereby, be bearers of knowledge and experience to others. As we advance in the activities of the WEP, it is a pleasure to witness how the women are developing more confidence in themselves and trust in each other.