I was so excited to be able to attend the Women Behind the Scenes Conference on August 20, 2016. I was unable to make the first conference in 2015 due to being out of town, but this year…I was there!
This conference was highly anticipated by both the organizers and the attendees. It had been in the making for many months in advance. Meetings, collaborations, prayers, calling of volunteers, and receiving ideas and input from ladies literally around the world had been taking place for months to ensure the day would go off without a hitch.
What impressed me: Everyone’s willingness to pitch in with their talents and abilities and their time and energy. You knew the day was going to be special from the first step inside the conference by seeing how much attention was paid to the details of the decorations, the line-up of speakers, and even the arrangement of tables and chairs to accommodate the women who were going to be in attendance.
One of the things I was able to do was to be a greeter. Being on deputation, I have a little bit of experience meeting new faces and shaking hands! It was so neat to meet each lady as they entered the doors, to shake their hand and to witness their eagerness to get inside to receive what the Lord had for them. It was nice to see faces of first time guests as well as familiar faces of those who were able to return! Not only being able to meet the ladies in attendance, but to socialize with other missionaries who were in different stages of ministry and even those who happened to be stateside for furlough was a great blessing. Every conference is special and unique because you aren’t going to have the same mix of ladies year after year, so it makes it that much more exciting to be able to be a part of the conference.
What impressed me: Each lady’s willingness to put aside a Saturday to not only fellowship with other ladies but who sincerely desired to hear from the Lord and glean new ideas in how they can strengthen their walk with the Lord.
The accommodations were wonderful! Breakfast was provided, as well as coffee…plenty of coffee! A mid-day snack was arranged and a delicious lunch was served. A variety of drinks were available and plenty of seating. Each table was decorated so nicely and were suited for each meal. People were walking around refilling drinks and taking care of any needs that may arise. There were plenty of ladies available to answer any questions or direct you to where you wanted to be. Everything was 5-star!
What impressed me: The amount of forethought it took to think through each transition needed to seamlessly switch from one meal to the other in a quick and orderly fashion. There were many volunteers in place assigned with tasks to make sure every detail was accounted for. Everything went so smoothly.
The Conference opened with singing, introductions, and a fun ice-breaker game. And then one of my favorite ladies, Mrs. Sandy Roberts, opened the conference with many thoughts from God’s Word about taking care of God’s temple…our hearts and our bodies. All the members of our body should be consecrated to God! The point that spoke most to me was, “God didn’t make us to be pretty or fashionable….but to be Holy!” WOW! The Conference was not even an hour in and already the Lord was speaking to hearts, especially mine!
What impressed me: You could tell this conference had been prayed over and for and was greatly anticipated by the speakers. You could see the Lord in every detail and that He was in every word spoken!
After the opening session, there were 4 sets of split sessions where ladies could choose what class they would like to attend according to topic or speaker. These times are so fun because you get to hear a variety of speakers on a variety of topics! Many of these topics are practical such as Cake Decorating, Design on a Dime, and Technology and your Children. Others were on more spiritual topics such as The Heart of the King’s Daughter (teen track), Milk or Meat: Become a self-feeder, and Beauty from Ashes: The Power of God’s Restoration. There were also others designed for just pastor’s wives as well as some sessions which were Q&A format with a panel of women who corresponded with the particular topic.
What impressed me: It was so difficult to choose which sessions to go to! The topics were so needful in my life that I wish I could have been in each one. I guess an idea would be to bring several friends, split up, and then share notes 😉 Each session was truly a blessing!
One session I did have the privilege to be apart of was entitled “Heart of Hospitality” and was taught by veteran missionary Lori Holt. Being a missionary in Chile, she definitely has a lot of experience hosting people and gatherings in her home both stateside and on the mission field, so right off the bat, I knew she had a lot to share and experience to pull from. A few thoughts that the Lord impressed upon me from her session were:
- When the word hospitality is broken down and translated it means “love” and “stranger”
- We must prioritize hospitality
- Having people in our homes may be the first step in winning them to Christ
- Having people in our home is a practical way of showing the love of Christ to them
- Having people in our homes will combat against loneliness and depression
- Be intentional and conscious of hospitality by keeping the house tidy and choosing furniture/housewares with having others over in mind
- Focus on your guests!!!!
Mrs. Lori also had the privilege of speaking during the closing session. She spoke on Being Conquerors in Christ. What a great way to the close the day!
The conference was a great success! The 3rd Annual Women Behind the Scenes Conference is already in the planning phases and is, again, much anticipated! Please mark your calendars for August 26, 2017 to attend. You won’t be sorry. I know the Lord will greatly use it to be a blessing in your life because it definitely was in mine!