Want to get away without going away?
An overnight escape will be held in the area this fall for women to renew their spirits while letting go of housework, cooking and family responsibilities for 24 hours.
Girlfriend Getaway has been designed by Cindy Foor Ministries of York to bring biblical teaching and insight to women's backyards rather than have them travel to a conference hours away by car, bus or plane.
(Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec)
Cindy Foor, a Christian conference speaker, has initiated Girlfriend Getaways to provide an opportunity for women of all ages and denominations to spend a day with friends and fellow believers.
Foor, who has been ministering to women for 20 years, will hold the first Girlfriend Getaway in September at the Ramada Altoona Conference Center.
Because she grew up in the Martinsburg area and lived in Altoona in the 1990s, Foor believes the kickoff event should be held in Blair County.
"I have a real heart for home," she said. "It's where I learned about God in the first place."
IF YOU GO
What: Girlfriend Getaway
When: Sept. 24 and?25
Where: Ramada Inn, Altoona
Cost: $130 to $150, includes meals and a night's stay at the hotel
For reservations: Visit gfgetaway.com
A second retreat will be in Lancaster, near her residence in York, but more accessible for women coming from Reading, Hershey and Harrisburg.
The price of the Altoona getaway is $130 to $150, depending upon accommodation choices. It includes a night's stay at the Ramada, meals, conference materials and pampering. The price is the same whether a woman stays overnight or goes home after the first session.
"The getting away is part of the vision. Women don't treat themselves and we feel guilty if we do," she said.
"Women need a time to be encouraged and refreshed," she said quoting Jeremiah 31:25 which says, "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
She suggested rooming with a few friends and sitting with them at one of the tables in the conference room where the sessions will be held to make the event more fun.
The theme is "Who Loves Ya, Baby?" because each woman "needs to know that who she is in Christ is extremely loveable," Foor said.
"Women say, 'I believe God loves me and died on the cross for me, and he is always there for me, but I don't understand why. I'm just not that loveable,'" she said.
During the conference, she also will address the challenges Christians face today.
"We are living in a different era. We are not well-equipped for what the world is throwing at us. We don't know why we believe what we believe," she said.
A certified biblical counselor with credentials earned in 1996 from the Biblical Counseling Foundation in Virginia, Foor served on a counseling team at Grace Fellowship in York for a number of years.
She uses her counseling training in her talks to teach others how to deal with life's circumstances.
"What we struggle with, I go to God's word for the answers," she said.
Chris Knepp of Martinsburg, who has heard Foor speak at retreats held at Curryville Church of the Brethren and a Ladies Encounter event, said "Cindy has a strong knowledge of the Scriptures. ... You can know it, but can you apply it? She teaches us how to apply it to our lives."
"I have been to other events in places such as Washington, D.C., and Cindy is right up there with the best of them," Knepp said.
Joyce Bassler of Roaring Spring, chairwoman of Ladies Encounter, which holds interdenominational events for area women, said Foor spoke at an event in 2008.
"She is very humorous but still delivers insight from God's word," Bassler said. "She tells a lot of life stories relevant to the topic. She is very encouraging and makes her talk personal. The women really loved her and were blessed by her message."
Knepp described Foor as "hysterically funny."
"She has a wonderful sense of humor that relates to everyone. She has you laughing, then she has you crying. She can go the whole gamut."
Knepp said women sometimes will tear up when Foor gets to the heart of the message and the relationship women have with God.
Foor believes that Girlfriend Getaway is an answer to prayer for herself and others.
Six years ago, she left in job as senior human resources manager for QVC's Lancaster Distribution Center to speak at Christian events full time.
When she turned 50 last year, Foor began seeking God to determine if there was anything else she was to do.
"I have always had a heart for women's ministry and felt as though God was impressing on my heart to go where the women live and meet them in their hometowns."
She recalled that women often would approach her at events and say they wish they didn't have to travel to major cities for women's conferences or they wished their church had the resources to sponsor a similar event.
She realized that she could make that happen because she is not only a speaker but had developed training to organize events while working for her church in York.
On a weekend camping trip last year to Lake Raystown with her husband, Steve, the ideas began to come together, she said.