Gwen Oatsvall is the Co-Founder of 147 Million Orphans along with Suzanne Mayernick. Together they led workshops at the 2013 Women’s Forum on the topic of orphan care. Read a little about their experience at the Women’s Forum and how it connected women to social justice ministry.
What an amazing opportunity for 147 Million Orphans to be a part of the Women’s Ministry Forum. It is a joy to share with others as their hearts searched for a way to be involved in social justice for orphans. We spoke with grandmothers, counselors, new ministry leaders, future ministry leaders, and adoptive moms in our sessions. It was such a joy to able share our God story and encourage someone else to take their first step in a new journey of serving the Lord as he has called them. It felt like such a purposeful event with so many seeking information so that they could better serve the kingdom and also fill their cups. It is often hard to serve and seek when no one understands or you feel worn and pulled in so many directions. I could tell women were getting the tools needed to continue or start a new journey with the Lord.
Suzanne and I saw all 850 women walking around talking, huddled in corners in prayer, laughing, and scurrying off to as many main sessions or classes they could fit in for the three-day conference. The ability to go to so many knowledgeable people was definitely a gift for the attendees, and you could sense the air of openness at the forum. I know Suzanne and I said many times to the women who came to our table or were in our sessions that we are here to help, so ask us anything. It was as if a veil was lowered and they felt safe to speak and share. It is only when we can be transparent with each other that growth can happen and I definitely felt that so many women left the forum feeling equipped.
What a blessing to see so many eyes sparkle as they felt part of something bigger than themselves. It was as if we were all part of a team and really, we are… God’s soldiers preparing for battle, It will be fun to see what God has in store at next year’s Women’s Ministry Forum.
Gwen Oatsvall is married to Scott and mother to Jeremiah, Elijah, Emily, Maggie, Joseph, and Daisy. She is the Co-Founder of 147 Million Orphans. She is an adoptive mom, orphan advocate, and voice for the voiceless. She is a speak her mind kind of mom, who loves opening people’s hearts to children with special needs.
Suzanne Mayernick is married to Mike and mother to Grace, Michael, AnnaBelle, MillerAnne, Joshua, Josie, & Caleb. She is the Co-Founder of 147 Million Orphans. She is an adoptive mom, orphan advocate, and voice for the voiceless. She spends most of her time car pooling her crazy kids and educating people on the disease HIV.