We had a ball at the Women's Ministry, A Precious Christmas, Brunch this past Saturday. And when a say "ball", I mean I bawled at times as well as thoroughly enjoyed myself! The program was packed with celebration of God's redemptive work! We heard from two women who had tough stories to listen to, but the power of God's grace was so clearly evident in their lives, you couldn't help but applaud and cheer in your heart!
The incredibly talented Butler Family led us in worship and even a little entertainment! In case you missed it, I learned that you either have to sing to marry a Butler Boy or you have to, at the very least, act like it!
And our dear Mary reminded us of how our sweet Jesus entered the world through a chain of messy circumstances and events in order to save us and reconcile us back to God. Again, I bawled at the profound truth that our Savior was born in a gross, smelly, and dirty manager -- so that women like you and me could relate to Him. One of the testimonies, Amanda, shared that she escaped a horrific life as a sex slave to a man in Chicago by running away when she had the chance. She had nowhere to go because she has been held hostage by this man (and raped almost every day for over a year), so when she finally did escape, she fled to a park and hid in the bushes overnight. Later in the program, Mary showed a picture of what some believe Jesus' first crib could have looked like (pictured above.) I couldn't help but draw the two stories together -- Amanda slept on the dirty, cold ground when God began to rescue her from her captives and Jesus knew what that felt like from day one when he first slept in a dirty, cold feeding trough.
We also heard from the leadership team of Rose of Sharon, our partner ministry from New Life Covenant Church. And because of the unbelievable generosity of TMC women, that team left with enough gifts for the women they serve in west side Chicago to last many months! And you raised $700 to go toward As Our Own through the Precious To Him fund. We are half way to our goal of $5,000 by September 2012! Thank you to those who participated in this giving!
The emphasis on how we are "Precious to Him" was once again evident in this program. I hope you don't grow tired of hearing it because we are just getting started in unpacking this message! Not only are we precious to God, but hurting and hopeless women throughout Chicago and beyond are precious to Him as well...and they need us. TMC Women's Ministry is committed to serving and supporting these women in whatever ways God leads us. Thank you for jumping on board!