Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run

October
07,
2014

Women of Worth Conference: Zambia - Day One

Testimonies, Singing, and Lots of Children

The Women of Worth Conference: Zambia kicked off bright and early today at Church of God Zambia Region Headquarters. A church packed full of women ready to hear good words, great joy, and hope. They were ready for us and we were ready for them.

Meri started us out with a talk about the potter and how God continually shapes us. Sandy S. followed with a talk about honoring her parents as they got older. Susan shared about her struggles with wanting to be married as a young adult and not having children. I even shared my story of feeling unloved and unwanted. Each of us had a testimony to share that touched the women and the struggles they felt in their daily lives.

As much as I've been a singer my whole life, I have been MORE than happy to take a back seat to these women and their voices. Their joy comes through with every note they sing and the beauty of their harmonies... I can't even explain it.

When we broke into groups to talk more in depth, NOTHING could prepare me for the abuse, violence, anger, adultery, death, and pain these women shared. They told stories of their husbands beating them because they were coming to the conference. How their late husband's family had taken everything from them in order to make them homeless the day he died. How they are left to take care of themselves. How they are cheated on. I've never had so many chills hearing these stories.

BUT when one woman would share her story, another would stand with words of encouragement. They told how they got through a similar situation. How God helped them and that they weren't alone. The encouragement was just as rampant as the terrible stories of their current situations. 

 

There was even a ridiculously awesome skit that made the ladies laugh out loud when I walked out in a little skirt and belly shirt with a long blond wig. It was about a ladies bible study where the ladies were judgemental of a woman (me) who shows up and doesn't fit in. It was hilarious but made a point. And I felt like a man dressed up as Barbie, but I'm happy to do what it takes to make these women giggle.

 

And there are children. SO many children. 

 

We are all really looking forward to Day 2.

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