As I sat on the front row waiting for Fresh Grounded Faith to begin, two ladies came up to Phil and me and handed Phil an envelope. They explained that in it was a piece of their church—a literal fragment from their building. Hurricane Delta had destroyed their church building and they wanted us to have a piece of it as a reminder to pray for their rebuild.
I was honored to take that broken piece. As I held it, I thought of how Delta may have destroyed church buildings, but it did not destroy the Church! The Church is alive and well in Lake Charles, Louisiana!
So much of the city is still in disrepair and blue tarps lay like flags of courage over so many rooftops. Between the pandemic and two hurricanes, this city has had more than its share of heartache and tragedy. Our whole FGF team was so moved by their tenacity, faith, and resilience.
We gathered in-person at Trinity Baptist Church and online to learn, laugh, worship, and get encouraged. And, that we did!!
Sheila Walsh taught us from Scripture and loved the women so well with every word she spoke with her beautiful Scottish accent!
Michael O’Brien brought much-needed laughter and lifted so many burdens through his fun songs. But, he also lifted so many spirits as he lifted up the name of Jesus and let us worship and affirm the goodness of God. It was so good!
I taught about being unshakeable. These women had been living every word I shared and we all thanked God that He alone is our Rock—we will not be shaken!
This conference would have not happened—after three reschedules—if not for the sheer tenacity of the Local Conference Coordinator, Becky Girola. She led her volunteers and co-host churches so well, and she was funny and optimistic the whole time. Way to go, Becky!
We’re also grateful for all that God did in Lake Charles! We’re celebrating the new eleven sisters in Christ and the ten women who chose to renew their commitment to Christ! Praise the Lord!
I’m so thankful the Church is not a building. It is people like you and me who love Jesus. It is women who are still living in FEMA trailers who refuse to give up. It is weary pastors who work long hours to feed hungry people. It is faithful men who show up to help on a Saturday so the women they love can gather at a conference to get encouraged.
The church building may be destroyed, but the Church is alive and well because the Church is faith-filled, relentless, tenacious, loving, sacrificial Christ-followers!
We’re praying for our brothers and sisters in Lake Charles. May God continue to be their rock. Amen.
Jennifer and the FGF Team!
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