Hispanic women's retreat draws 250 attendees to Camp Yavapines
Maria Denneny was running a successful upholstery and interior design business 23 years ago when she decided to create a ministry for the Hispanic women of the Arizona Conference. She didn’t feel qualified, but she believed it was her calling. In faith, she began a ministry that has impacted hundreds of women through the years.
Frank Sherrill, then president of the Arizona Conference, pledged his support, but didn’t have money to give. In spite of their shoestring budget, the first event, a convocation in April 1990, drew 90 Hispanic women.
The 2012 Hispanic women's retreat drew 250 attendees to Camp Yavapines in Prescott, Ariz., April 20-22. Attendees included about 30 non-Adventist ladies who attended with their friends.
Featured speaker Elizabeth Talbot focused on “A Las Pies de la Cruz” (At the Foot of the Cross). Talbot told the story of Joseph and the many coats he was asked to wear — beloved son, hated brother, slave, falsely accused steward, then second in command in the country, ready to save his own family in time of need.
“Women face the same things today as Joseph did then,” says Denneny. “We wear our robes of trials and tribulations, but through it all, God has a plan for our lives. And when faithful, we triumph just like Joseph!”
“My life is not going to be the same from now on,” said Gloria, a non-Adventist attendee. “After this weekend, I have been transformed! I would like to be baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist.”
Today, Denneny works as a chaplain for Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Ariz. She is the mother of four children and grandmother of eight, but still makes Hispanic women’s ministry one of her top priorities. “I want to help build and strengthen the spiritual lives of our ladies, and encourage them to make Jesus their number one priority,” she says.