Saturday, November 20, 2010

Women of Faith: Imagine

I am really enjoying our extended stay here in the United States for so many reasons: quality time with Robert's family, opportunity to meet wonderful people while raising support, and spending time with friends who are dear to us.

We have also resolved that this is a season of learning as we believe it will help us be better teachers of God's love and faithfulness as we return to Manila early next year. We prayed to God to give us opportunities to be students while we are here.

And He did respond to our prayers oh so generously. This year I was able to attend conferences that (1) helped me become better in handling online communications and (2) helped me become a more effective Christian leader. There was so much favor in these events because we were able to attend without having to pay for expensive conference fees.

I recently spent a weekend in Kansas City, MO. I had the pleasure and the privilege to attend Imagine: Women of Faith conference. While the previous events we went to greatly fed me as a blogger and as a leader, this conference nurtured the core of who I really am: a Christian woman.

It felt so good to attend a gathering of women who collectively worshipped God. It was an honor to listen to other females whose experiences have become great testimonies of God's faithfulness.

Allow me to share with you today some of the wonderful highlights of this uplifting weekend.

Lori Robertson is the Director of Programming at Women of Faith. She was the host of the conference. Her presence on stage was so sweet and gentle.

We had a gorgeous-looking (and sounding!) worship team: Jenifer Thigpen, Janice Gaines, Laura Cooksey, and Allison Abbott (who was a glowing pregnant momma). I absolutely loved that all songs from their set list are worship favorites. While I love discovering new worship songs -- it does feel great to sing to every single song without having to stick out your neck to see the lyric!

Marcus Buckingham, whose career has helped others discover and maximize their personal strengths (that includes yours truly), spoke about the primary life roles women feel strongest at. This is the basis if his book (which I did a book review on): "Find Your Strongest Life."

Have you seen a woman sing so beautifully on stage and pregnant at 8 months? I am talking about Natalie Grant. I have always been in love with her singing voice but I think I have fallen harder hearing it live. The most moving moment was when she sang "It Is Well" in acapella.

Lisa Harper was an incredible teacher. She had fresh takes on Scripture and very down-to-earth stories! Her funny lines on being single was also heart-warming.

Karen James talked about that day in December 2006 when her husband climbed Mt. Hood and was trapped there in the midst of the worst storm that ever hit that mountain. He tragically died on that climb. How Karen coped with such a seemingly unbearable loss was a strong testimony.

"Gospel Royalty" Tina and Erica Campbell also known as Mary Mary rocked the house with a high-energy concert on Friday night. I bet ya didn't know Mary was NOT their names! They were gorgeous!

Luci Swindoll was so inspiring especially to women who consider themselves artistic and creative. "Adventure is an attitude, not a behavior." I just love listening to a woman who worships God through the arts!

Lawyer Kim Cash Tate talked about a powerful (and very much-needed!) message how women, intentionally or otherwise, put labels on each other and how it creates tension on a supposedly loving fellowship as sisters in Christ. I did a thorough heart-check after hearing her message.

Sheila Walsh -- definitely my favorite speaker of the conference! She is so funny, honest; and that lady can sing! She spoke about forgiveness and trusting her husband again -- an issue I know resonates with a lot of married women today. I also loved another message of hers that explains a new perspective of one of my favorite stories in the book of Genesis: When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.

Awesome bonus: seeing Christine Caine, Lisa Welchel and Mandisa just a couple of rows ahead of me! They did not speak/perform. They were just there, like me, taking in all the wisdom from the speakers and worshipping God.


This conference stirred up dreams in my heart again on helping set-up a Christian women's conference in Manila. I think how fantastic it would be if I could combine all the events I attended (creative, leadership skills and female issues) into one dynamic weekend for women in the Philippines. I do not even know how I can start it but the vision just keeps on pressing within me. I would like to ask for your prayers and your wisdom as I ask God about this!

Do tell me: 
Would you like to see a faith-based women's conference in the city that you live?