Despair is Going Down and Hope Is on the Rise – FGF Highlights, Chino, CA

Just before the Fresh Grounded Faith Chino conference began, we had a time of prayer with our wonderful team of volunteers. Our prayer team leader, Pastor Jane—a beautiful black woman from Kenya—prayed the heavens down.

FGF Chino CA

Thank you to Elise Rall for the beautiful photos. To see the entire Facebook photo album, click here. For those of you who joined the photo booth fun, you can view your photos here.

Pastor Jane said, “Before I pray, I always go to the Scriptures first.” The Lord led her to Genesis 8:5 where it speaks of Noah and the flood:

The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

She said, “Ladies, do you think it’s a coincidence that FGF Chino begins on the first day of the tenth month … October 1st? Just as the flooded waters went down in the time of Noah, so is the burden of our earthly struggles as we come together today.”

And Pastor Jane began to pray…

“The weight of our depression is going down. The heaviness of our health problems is going down.” And so on.

Wow … just wow! Her prayer rightly shifted our focus from our earthly sorrows to the goodness of the Lord, and you could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in that room.

Pastor Jane’s prayer truly captured the whole weekend—despair was going down and hope was on the rise!

With an all-new lineup at FGF Chino, we received such encouragement through fellowship, the messages, and our time of worship.

And can I just say that Harold and Elena Guerra were AMAZING!? They led us in worship, and talk about being full of the Holy Spirit and energy! Harold’s story about the prayers of his mother were super inspiring, and he drew all of us to pray and live with compassion.

Crystal Paine was a pure delight! She’s the brilliant woman behind, and I just love her message on replacing lies with truth. She’s soft-spoken and down-to-earth, and who could forget her story about how to freeze peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

I taught out of my Take Courage Bible study—and speaking of Bible studies—I met so many Bible study buddies at the conference! What a joy it was to feel so connected to women I had never met because we had been in Bible study together.

We had ladies from Las Vegas and Arizona join us too, and one of them, Jan, even gave me one of her razors because I forgot mine! I’m telling you—we’re all connected!

Then on Saturday, Joni Earekson Tada arrived at the conference to speak. I met with her in the green room, and since Harold and Elena were getting ready to leave for their flight, they joined us as well. Many of us were introducing ourselves and saying hello for the first time, and then … Joni asked Harold and Elena to sing!

There was already a piano in the room, and Milo—their keyboard player—just happened to walk in at that particular moment. (It was all orchestrated by God, of course.)

Together we sang “The Goodness of God,” and it was simply beautiful.

We had never met prior to this conference, but it was like we knew each other our whole lives. And that’s because we’re family—God’s family.

Someone on our FGF team happened to catch us on video, so I get to share it with you! As you watch the video, sing along about the goodness of the Lord!

I love You, Lord
For Your mercy never fails me
All my days, I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

Can you feel the connection? As part of God’s family, we’re all connected, and that includes you, sister!

Later on, when Joni came out on stage, everyone stood and applauded. She kept shaking her head no, but everyone had such respect and admiration for her. It was a wonderful moment to honor Joni, but she quickly brought our attention back to the Lord.

Joni also shared a message about taking courage and taught how Jesus said it constantly, “Take heart … Do not fear … Be strong!” He helps us be brave, dismantle fear, rise above pain, and face disappointment with undaunted courage.

It was a timely message from a clearly courageous woman!

Joni also spoke of her chronic pain and how we have to dig deep and find a song. She reminded us that when we say, “Jesus is Lord,” that is to also say, “…and sin is not.” She encouraged us to remember and pray aloud the promises of God so the enemy could hear those promises and know exactly where we stood.

At the end of Joni’s segment, she asked for the lyrics of “Standing on the Promises” to be displayed on the screens. Every woman came to her feet, and together—without any instruments—we lifted our voices in song. It was a beautiful moment of worship, and it was a beautiful picture of unity in the body of Christ.

Our Fresh Grounded Faith motto is “One Event. Many Churches. For Every Woman.” And with many churches united together under one roof, and with our voices singing in unison praises to God, we took courage and stood firm on the promises of God.

The flood waters of despair went down in Chino—because God was lifted high. His hope lifted us all up, and I am incredibly grateful!

God did wonderful things in Chino, and we got to witness Him move in the hearts of women who were there! We celebrated 5 new sisters in Christ, 23 women who chose to renew their commitment to the Lord, and 50 children sponsored through Compassion International. Praise the Lord!

As my heart is overflowing with gratitude, I also have to thank our host church, CrossPoint Church, for being such a gracious host. And this event would not have happened if not for our Local Conference Coordinators, Amy Mulder and Mary Cheng, who worked tirelessly alongside our co-host churches and so many volunteers to bring this kingdom-minded event to Chino.

May God bless these churches and dear women who lead and serve with such joy!


Jennifer and the FGF Team!

BONUS: Crystal Paine joins me on the 4:13 Podcast

Would you like to hear more from Crystal Paine? She joins me on the 4:13 Podcast and talks more about what it means to “live as loved.” It will change your perspective and help you see yourself as God sees you.

Listen to the podcast episode with Crystal Paine here.

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