"Information overload" was what one woman said after attending the Women's Ministry Retreat this past Saturday. But she said she meant it in a positive way: "If I'm going to devote an entire Saturday to an event, leave my family at home for the day, I want as much information as possible crammed in to that one day, and that's what I got!" It was a special day and I'm thrilled with how God showed us His faithfulness. The room was packed with over 200 women -- we worshiped, we laughed, we cried, we met new people, and most of all, we were informed. Our speakers were phenomenal and the testimonies were unreal.
The goal of the day was two-fold: (1) to establish the theology of the value of women before our Mighty God. Mary Whelchel laid down the Scripture and reminded each of us there just how precious we are to God. We can't live our life to the fullest unless we can stand on the truth that God values us and has incredible plans for our lives. We need to be rescued and God is the rescuer. And (2) to educate and inform the audience how precious women are to God all around the world, especially women who are trapped in dark places and hopeless. Ralph Borde from As Our Own had us captivated as he told story after story of women and young girls who were rescued from the Red Light District in parts of India. His punch-you-in-the-stomach message reminded us that God is calling the Church, you and me, to be a part of the answer for these young girls trapped in human and sex trafficking. By the end of the day, the final message was this: We are to help rescue others because we ourselves have been rescued. We are all precious to God.
As much information as we did receive on Saturday, we were also given ways to respond. The idea was that everyone would be inspired to help in some way, any way. Mary reminded us that it only takes one person helping one other person to start making a difference. We introduced the Precious to Him Project and encouraged everyone to start somewhere. To learn more on these opportunities and how you can take action, visit our website.
Here are some additional comments from some women who joined us:
"The retreat moved me to DO something!"
"The information I received today has inspired me to become involved."
"As someone from Ghana and not knowing anyone from TMC, I felt so warmly welcomed and overwhelmed by the sisterly love. I really needed this!"
"I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to meet other women...I least enjoyed the discomfort that the truth brought, but that's okay."
"[The retreat] was wonderfully planned...this conference is what the church should be about in this broken world. The stories were heartbreaking but also awesome in hearing what the Lord is doing in the dark places."