Monday, October 5, 2009

What an amazing weekend - James River ROCKS!!

What a privilege it was to be invited to speak at the annual Designed for Life women’s conference, hosted by Debbie Lindell, co-pastor with her husband John, of James River Assembly in Springfield, MO. The theme of the conference was SO LOVED, and I can tell you that by the time the weekend was over, there was no doubt that all 2200 women in attendance received that message loud and clear. It was my privilege, first of all, to be a part of this conference for the first time, along with guest speakers Charlotte Scanlon-Gambill from the UK and Lisa Bevere from Colorado Springs, CO.

It is always special when God bonds people together for His purposes, and I certainly felt that bond with conference host Debbie Lindell – what an amazing woman she is!! Not only did I get to experience that bond, but Debbie and her team graciously invited the girls in the Mercy Ministries St. Louis home to be their special guests. Not only did they allow the girls to come free of charge, but they lavished gifts upon them by creating a whole store of pajamas and toiletries for the girls to go shopping one day to pick out brand new things!! Every girl got to pick out 5 items – pajamas, house shoes, etc! It was so funny when Debbie Lindell decided to model one of the robes for everyone!

We had such a great time as only 2,200 girlfriends getting together can: lots of laughter, lots of tears, and lots of heartfelt prayer and ministry. No doubt that lives were transformed through this amazing event. The hearts of the young ladies in our program were very moved by the great love and hospitality they experienced.

Me and Lisa Bevere pictured with the St. Louis Mercy Girls!

It was also very special to me personally that there were several graduates of Mercy Ministries from over the years. One such girl actually attends James River Assembly Church and her name is Sarah (pictured below with me and Debbie).

It was such a special time, but there’s no way I could even begin to express how powerful and special this time really was. I thought I would at least try by showing you some of the highlights from the actual event. We also have a special slide presentation so you can see the speakers, hosts, and the girls as they were shopping and all the things that were brought.

My fellow speakers are married with their own children, and two of them just had their first grandchild born. They were so busy showing off their families that I decided I should show mine off too so I decided I had to put a picture of my boy, Jude, up on the screen too!

The conference itself was amazing, but then I had the opportunity to speak in their three Sunday morning services at their Wilsons Creek Campus. It was such a great time, and I can’t wait until I get to go back! Hope your weekend was as good as mine!!


ab said...

I was at that conference--I'm actually the girl who walked up to you and told you that I find your words terrifying. One of my smoother moments. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed being there as much as I enjoyed your being there. And I just wanted to let you know that you really turned everything upside down for me--in a good way. I'm still figuring out how to get it right-side up again, but that's part of the process, I think. So Thanks! So glad you enjoyed being at James River!

kad1985 said...

You are an amazing speaker and you story is so inspiring!! So much so that after hearing you at the confernce and at 8:30 am service at wilson creek james river I went and got my best girl friend and her girls to hear your 11:30 service we really enjoyed your message!!! She needed to her it so bad she is having a hard time with ms right now and it is very hard for her and after hearing your message she relized that there is hope!!! Thank you for giving her hope through the message of our Lord Jesus Christ!!

Kristin Stegent said...

Sounds awesome! Yay...I like Sarah!!! She was at Mercy with me :)

JenRaelyn said...

I was at the conference and was beyond blessed by your message!! You are an inspiration!!! God uses you to do so much for those girls! I could have used a place like Mercy when I was a teenager. I struggled with depression, anorexia, and suicidal thoughts all of which I have continued to struggle with in my adult life, until the SO loved conference. I always felt like God made a mistake when he created me. I grew up in church, was a "good girl" until about 21 and then strayed. I recommitted my life 2 weeks ago at James River but this past weekend helped and inspired me so much!!! Thank you for everything you do! I know God has a special treasure waiting for you!

Ozarks ACT said...

I was there as well, AMAZING time. I have written you and have put in an application. Am wanting to help and support this wonderful Ministry.