Tuesday, May 01, 2007

COMING ATTRACTION...and she will kill me for saying this--Tara Barthel. She is coming the end of this month to speak in little Hanna City. How exciting is that? When we were at the Presbyterian Church in America Women's International Conference last fall and heard Tara speak, something in my head (the Holy Spirit?) said, "People in your area would listen to this lady. She has the right accent." It's true that we have a lot of speakers in our denomination with southern accents. Of course, I know that when people speak from God's Word, He is always able to get His truth across to us. I just find that often there are "silly" things that get in the way, like accents, lifestyles that people can't identify with, and on and on. Here was someone who told it like it was, in the right accent:) I barely dared to pray that Tara would be able to speak at our church...SOON. I'm sad to say that I was not full of faith that moves mountains. I probably prayed it once or twice and left it on the back burner. After all, her speaking schedule was full for two years ahead! Maybe it would take our church that long before we were really ready for what she had to say.

I kept reading her blog, praying and starting a group that is working to develop an expanded women's ministry at our church. Who knew? Through some really cool providential circumstances, Tara ended up in Peoria, IL and will be speaking at our church on May 30! Our team (who have been studying PEACEMAKING WOMEN was dumbfounded! She can come and speak to our ladies!? We have been praying re the date--turned out to be a Wednesday--and when she would come--the end of May.

Now the registrations are coming in and I'm blown away. We have ladies coming from little towns all around here. Many are friends or relatives of people in our church. Some came through a local newspaper ad, some through the peacemaker's website. Others are in our presbytery. Most are in three's and four's but will probably add up to about 75. I can't wait to see how that will multiply in numbers of churches represented. This morning I, little Miss Stoic from way back, got choked up over the whole thing. The thought that 70 ladies could go back to their homes and communities with a better understanding of the gospel and how it affects our ability to deal with conflict? What could be more awesome? I think that calls for some Hallelujah's, Glories and an Amen, sister. Don't you? Only God would be able to bring that about.