HOUSTON – Studying the Word of God isn’t an end to itself. It is a call to action.
The 850 women attending LifeWay Women’s premier Abundance event in Houston had the opportunity to answer this call.
“Women have asked us for a way to meet their favorite Bible study authors, said LifeWay event coordinator Betsy Langmade. “Abundance is designed to do that, but we also want to give women an opportunity to get involved in missions.”
The name of the event – Abundance – speaks to the resulting outpouring of the filling the women get from their study of God’s Word.
“Women can participate in many wonderful Bible studies, but if the studies don’t lead the women to action, they have missed something,” said Langmade.
Both international and local missions organizations representing ministries to single mothers, orphans, women victimized by the sex trade and human trafficking, the poor and the sick exhibited at the conference.
Conference attendees also heard stories from some of the women who had been helped by these organizations.
Olive, a native of Uganda, spoke briefly about how being sponsored as a child changed her life. As a 6-year-old in Uganda she received a sponsor through Compassion International. That sponsor’s support allowed Olive to go to school, get healthcare and nourishing food. Olive grew up, came to America, and now is a social worker in Georgia working on a master’s degree. She is married and has a son. Her family sponsors three children.
Oksana lived in an orphanage in Russia when she was a child. She said while the orphanage was not good, it was better than her life with her drug-addicted mother. She said all she wanted, as a child was to be in a family that loved her. Receiving a Christmas shoebox from Samaritan’s Purse one year was the first time she had ever received a gift from anyone. It gave her more than just the small gifts in the box. It gave her hope, she said. Oksana’s dream came true when she was adopted by an American family and was able to live in a loving home.
Debbie Rippstein, executive director of Gracewood, a Houston-area group that helps single parent mothers and their children shared how the facility helps resolve temporary family instability through residential care and other types of assistance.
Conference attendees had the opportunity to give “shower gifts” for a new Gracewood facility. Women filled a table with diapers, kitchen goods, linens and gift cards to help set up the new home.
“These women who commit to the Bible studies are disciples,” Langmade said. “They want to serve and reach out to people with the love of Christ. Abundance is more than just the name of this event. It’s what these women have – an abundance of love, compassion and resources. They give from this abundance.”
by Polly House, Communications Department