This weekend our church hosted the Beth Moore Live Simulcast. We had over 140 women come to have their hearts and mind filled by God. Beth talked about women and their relationships with one another and with God.
As those of us hosting the simulcast began preparing for the weekend, we happened to sit at some tables in the room where the ladies would be eating lunch. While praying together, I asked God to give us energy, wisdom and strength. I also prayed for the woman who was going to be sitting in the exact seat I was sitting at. I sensed there would be many women coming in to our church this weekend who would be “crawling in on their hands and knees” due to all of the baggage they were carrying.
The day of the conference, we greeted many women–some from our congregation, and some that reside in a local homeless shelter. As the day progressed, many tears were shed. You could see women’s hearts opening up to what Beth was saying. It was almost like some of their burdens were being lifted.
As lunch time approached, I waited to see who would see in “my” chair. As I watched a beautiful woman sit down, I went and introduced myself. I told this woman that even though I don’t know what circumstances were going on in her life, I wanted her to know that I had been praying for her. She told me her name (I’ll call her Barb, although that is not her real name), and thanked me for praying.
I continued to help in various areas during the conference. At one point, many of the leaders, including me, stood at the front of the church to pray with anyone in need. I wasn’t sure what to expect, knowing sometimes people are a little shy about receiving prayer. Suddenly a familiar face began walking towards me. It was my new friend, Barb. Things happened so quickly, all I remember is Barb falling into my arms sobbing. I felt the weight of her circumstances lying on my shoulder. At that very moment, the only thing I could do was to cry for her. I had no idea what was happening in her life, yet God brought her to me. As I stroked her head and held her tightly, I whispered in her ear, “I guess God knew that I needed to pray for you.” A few minutes later, we began to speak about what was happening in her life. Without sharing her details, I can tell you that she and I have been through some of the same things in our lives.
Barb and I exchanged phone numbers and even sat together during some of the worship time. She prayed over me and I prayed over her. What a wonderful new friendship God has given us.
God knew exactly what He was doing the day we sat down to pray during our planning meeting. Barb didn’t plan to come to the conference. She didn’t decide to come until the day after I prayed for her. Barb happens to be a friend of one of the women’s ministry leaders. I was standing next to the leader when she received the message that Barb would be coming, but I had no idea who she was.
It’s amazing to me that as a leadership team, we sat down and planned for how the event might look. We prayed every time we met. We kept God in the center of all of the details. When the simulcast actually happened, God was there. Not only in the small details, but in so many BIG ways:
- Thirty-six women came from a homeless shelter. Many left with a Bible and a gift bag donated by members of our congregation.
- At least 15 women committed their lives to Jesus.
- Over 190,000 women around the world watched the simulcast that day!
- We had 142 women in our church, many without church homes. We actually ran out of church information fliers to hand out to the visitors!
When you look back at some of the numbers, you can’t help but think that there was one common denominator there: God. He came, He saw and He forgave. We may have planned the meals, but He took care of all of the rest.
I’ve always been in awe of God, but this weekend really opened up my eyes to the things I don’t always see Him do. With much thankfulness and love,