Under this generic, between September 9-12 at the Excelsior Hotel in Brasov, it was held the traditional annual conference of young women who are focused on discipling the girls from Romanian Evangelical Churches, organized by BIG Impact and benefiting the priceless contribution of three women who are active for years in Eastern Europe as missionaries of Josiah Venture organization, namely Amy Ellenwood, Laura Hash and Connie Patty. With over 100 participants from across the country, some coming with babies in their arms not to miss this opportunity, the event from Brasov event was extremely successful. We share below some information on the spot and Diana Bocsa’s impressions, who coordinates the Young Women in Ministry Network from within BIG Impact organization.
In the beginning of September 2010, for almost four days, 120 women gathered together for celebration. These women, younger or older, traveled from different parts of the country, coming from churches of different denominations and serving in contexts that are very different from one another. But all of these women have at least one thing in common: they are the ones who offer care to the girls in their local churches. Most of them spend hours every week discipling and loving the teenage and college-aged young women who God left in their local context.
From Thursday to Sunday (September 9-12, 2010) we gathered together to celebrate the one who we love the most and whose mission we are part of: our amazing God! He is the one who is worthy to be worshiped and the dependency on him is the greatest gift we could have received. This God pursued a personal relationship with us through Jesus Christ. And because of his cross and resurrection we can live without shame and burdens. Thus, we can enjoy the many good things that he allowed in our life! Oh, how many reasons we had and continue to have for celebration!
The morning sessions were focused on relationships between women. Our friendships are greatly poisoned by sin (comparison, betrayal, gossip, etc.) but at the cross we can receive redemption and restoration of relationships! We had space to turn our eyes upon Jesus and repent from our sins, and then receive Jesus’ and each other’s forgiveness, accompanied by life and joy. Our main speakers for the morning sessions were three close friends: Amy Ellenwood, Laura Hash and Connie Patty – missionaries for over 10 years in countries of Eastern Europe with Josiah Venture. They shared vulnerable and humbly about their walk together: their own struggles and sins and their victories and joys of friendship.
We praise God for the fruit that we have seen at the conference and after the conference! Any encounter with him is transformational. This God who is worthy to be worshiped encountered us and showed us his glory during those days together! Praise him for that!
Here are a few insights from some of the conference participants:
“I was impressed by the long friendship that the three missionary friends shared. I reveled in the presence of the Holy Spirit and, frankly, I did not expect all the speakers, including the participants, to be so transparent about their feelings and experiences. I learned that these feelings are hanging over all of us (women or men) and that each and every one of us carries a burden, either from childhood or from a more recent time. The vulnerability of the three women speakers gave me the courage to open myself more, without being ashamed to talk about the things I experience or deal with. So others will know that they are not the only ones struggling with these things. When Christ is with you, nothing and nobody can stand against you.” (Alina Rotaru, Bacau)
“The whole time I spent in Brasov was like a very powerful emotional charge for me because the Holy Spirit went very deep into my heart and reached some very sensitive spots such as self-confidence, the sin of betrayal, dependence on anything other than God. I was amazed by the transparency of the three women speakers and of the girls as well, and also by the fact that we usually tend “to send the boats into the deep” because we are never satisfied with fishing ashore. I realized that the person I betrayed the easiest and most often was the Lord Jesus himself. I realized that there were two distinct areas in my life that I would address differently: the spiritual area in which I felt at ease talking about the Lord and having a relationship with Him, and the material area of my everyday life in which I would behave, think and act like I was in control. The Lord wanted to bring harmony into these areas, setting me free from misleading dependency. I am very grateful for all the blessings I received throughout this period. ” (Codrina Apostol, Bacau)
“For me, this was one of the most transformative conferences I have attended! God made me aware of certain sins in my life and their effect which is much greater than I had expected both in my life and in the life of those around me. It was a time covered with grace and filled with the Holy Spirit. At first, I thought I was the only one God was trying to send a message to, but I talked to many girls during the conference and realized that God is doing a great work of transformation among us. The fact that He met us individually and talked to us in a personal way is to me a strong proof of love.” (Iulia Dorothea Ghita, Galati)