Making Room for God, for Others, for You … be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom. 12:2b
On April 20, 2013, 750 women gathered at the Meeting House in Oakville for the 16th Inspirational Women’s Conference. It was truly a day of inspiration and worship, with the theme of Making Room, for God, for Others, for You. The day began with inspiring worship, led by the worship team of the Village Church (Plant) in Thorold, Ontario. They brought a sincere heart for worship as well as the ability to connect with anyone who might be unfamiliar with church and Christian traditions.
The keynote speaker, Joyce Rees shared stories of her work with the impoverished people of the lower east side of Vancouver, bringing the good news of Jesus to those who are afflicted with drug and alcohol addiction. She spoke to us about our need to find our rest in Jesus, in order to be in a place of being able to provide hospitality to others. She shared with us from the teaching of Jesus in John 4, as He received a drink of water from the woman at the well. The hospitality of Jesus begins with the need of the other, as well as receiving from the other. Reflecting on the story of Hagar, in Genesis, we saw a parallel story of a God who sees us in our need… in our brokenness, our hurt, our struggle… God sees us. We are also called to see the need of others, as we bring the good news of Jesus
Other speakers through the day also addressed the theme of Making Room for God and others. Sara Pot of St. Catharines, shared powerfully of her own wrestling with God, through the pain of having two children who are severely disabled with no known diagnosis. Everyone was moved, as she closed by singing the words of It is well with my soul…
Sue Faber of Burlington shared her story, of being led to mission in Kenya. Upon her return to Canada, the desire of her heart was to continue to share with those she met in Kenya. Her ministry called Hands for Hope, has been able to raise funds for an orphanage in Kenya, while involving her children (and others) in ministry. Making room for God led Sue to make room for others across the globe.
In a similar vein, a video was shown about Freeset, a company that employs women who have been rescued from the sex trade in India. Each woman at the conference received a small handmade Freeset bag. Even the choices we make with our shopping can begin to make room for others.
Finally, making room for others also involves taking care of ourselves. Throughout the day, Heather Matt, a fitness trainer in Oakville, had us moving to the music, and shared with us some tidbits about keeping healthy. We also enjoyed a beautiful lunch, and home-baked treats, with Desserts by Michelle .
The conference was sponsored by Coffee Break and Christian Reformed Home Missions. Photos by Sandra Mulder.
Watch the photo story below to get a full picture of the day!