Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Women of Faith Imagine Conference





Thursday afternoon, I left with 9 other women from our church and headed to the nearest Women of Faith conference.  It was 11:30pm before the lights went out in our room... not from just getting there, but from the excitement of what was to come.  Of course, it probably had a little something to do with the fact that I was in a room with two teen girls, one of which was my oldest daughter.  
Friday, we got up at 6:30am, showered, dressed and ate breakfast.  When all the group was ready, we hit the sidewalks and walked the “couple of blocks” to the arena.   When we arrived at the arena, women were wound in zigzag lines from the door to the road and around the corner waiting to get in!  Fortunately, some nice women were out handing out a copy of a free book to all the women!  At 9a.m. the doors opened and women just poured in to the arena.  We found  pretty good seats for all of us and settled in to hear what God would say to us.  


Sheila Walsh & me




MaryMary





First, the Women of Faith Worship Team led us in praising God and just worshipping together as one body.  Some of the songs were familiar some were not, but it was beautiful to hear almost 8000 women singing their praises to God!!  Then, Mary Graham, opened up with a welcome and some announcements and then welcomed Steve Arterburn to speak.  Steve is the founder of WOF... it was amazing to hear the struggles and triumphs he's been through since the beginning of WOF.  What shocked me was when he shared that just the year before, he had scheduled a conference that had a grand total of 30ish in attendance.  Epic Fail.  Thank GOD that Steve didn't give up!!  After that Sheila Walsh shared with us.  What insight and depth she has as a woman of God!!  She shared more of her own story interspersed with Scripture and humor.  And then she sang.  Wow, what a voice!  After a short break, there was a Q&A time with Sheila and Steve where members of the audience were able to ask their questions and get some answers.   Next, we heard from Natalie Grant.  Again, an amazing performer with lots of energy and heart.  Honestly, I can't remember exactly how the conference went (as far as the timeline, schedule of speakers/musicians, etc), but I know there was so much to take in... so much to just absorb. Friday we went from 9a.m. to 10p.m. with several small breaks and two larger meal breaks.  The day was full of laughter and tears and wow...just an amazing time of WOMEN being themselves and sharing with each other.    Saturday we had several of the same speakers plus a few more including, Lisa Harper, Angie Smith, Laura Story and Mary Mary shared their music with us.
Me, Lisa Harper & Elizabeth
I want to share some pics of our time there... then I will tell you how I FEEL about the WOF conference as a whole.
Laura Story


Natalie Grant
Luci Swindoll
Lisa Harper
Sheila Walsh







Sign language available for the  hearing impaired.
So, the pictures never like to cooperate with me... somehow they end up in the wrong place. But you get the gist of them.  WOF always has provisions for the hearing impaired and is handicap accessible...  I saw many people in wheelchairs, on crutches, etc there at the conference.  They also make a nursing room(s) available to mothers who have young babies that are nursing...saw tons of babies there as well.

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