Volume 25 Issue 3
STAY WITH ME
Teen Girl’s Retreat
This year, our annual Teen Girl’s Retreat was held at Miracle Farms from February 23rd to February 25th. The theme, “Stay With Me” came from John 15:5 which says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing”. The girls learned the importance of inviting Jesus into their lives and walking through both the mountains and valleys with Him. At the retreat, 25 teens came together to worship, fellowship, eat s’mores and participate in an incredible dance off to Christian music! The retreat was hosted by 15 college and Women’s Ministry volunteers who helped coordinate the weekend, prepare food, lead worship, and walk with the girls through lessons.
Cathy, Salina, and Priscilla from the Women’s Ministry shared their stories of walking with Jesus through vastly different experiences and walks of life. One woman shared the story of her walk with Jesus through her teenage and college years. Another shared of her experience being born in prison, raised without parents, and how she sought and walked with Jesus in the midst of this hardship. The third woman shared her story of her father walking away from her family, and learning how to find and see God as her heavenly Father. These stories were a testament to God’s love and faithfulness as we abide in him, despite our story or history. Cathy also opened up to the teens about the sexual abuse she experienced and tried to report, but no one believed her. Later in life, her daughter came to her and shared that she too had been sexually abused, and she was able to hold her daughter and say, “I believe you”. Together, they invited Jesus into that situation, and walked through the pain as they began to ask God, “Where were you when all this happened?”
In the middle of the night after these women boldly shared their stories, Carmen heard a teen girl weeping in her room, who had shared last month that she was being sexually abused by a relative. The next morning, Carmen asked the girl, Natalia, if she cried often. Natalia replied, “Yes, almost every night. For the past month I’ve been crying because I felt guilty that I told people about being raped. After telling my family, my parents have been fighting and half of our family doesn’t talk to us anymore. Sometimes I feel like I should have never told. But last night after Cathy told her story I went and talked to her after. And when I went up and talked to Cathy, she told me that I was brave. And for the first time in my life I heard it. Last night I was crying for a different reason. It was a good thing that I told”.
Stories like these are the reason we hold the retreat. We want to provide a safe space for one more girl to come out of the darkness, and share their story and struggles and hurts, and say to them “we will believe you and we will journey with you on this road to healing and restoration”. This is why we ask people to lock arms with us and pray because these are the things that will affect the rest of their life. God can bring them out of the dark places and they can live a different kind of life in the light of truth and the power of the word of God that can rescue, restore and release them. Please continue to join us in prayer for these teen girls to be brought from darkness to light and walk with Jesus daily.
DID YOU KNOW: 19 men committed or rededicated their life to Christ at the Basketball Tournament
Mother & Daughter Tea Party
On March 24th, our Women’s Ministry will be hosting the 2nd Annual Mother/Daughter Tea, which is an outreach event to reach women and children in Bryan to share the love and transforming power of Christ with them. Our Women and Teens were encouraged to reach out and invite their friends and family to the event. The theme of the tea party is “Love Has Good Manners”. We will be leading an etiquette class where the women will learn both table manners and social etiquette, in the hope that we raise the bar for the next generation and equip our future leaders with manners, while incorporating the love of God. Additionally, a few of our teens and their mothers will be sharing their testimonies of the way Jesus transformed their mother/daughter relationships once they invited him in.
The S.O.S. Building will be transformed into a beautiful tea party, tailored to the feminine design that most women delight in! We encourage those attending to dress their best and enjoy the morning as our women serve them with tea and tea cakes. Last year, the women embraced this theme and wore derby hats and fancy dresses – the children loved it! There will also be fun mother/daughter games, as well as door prizes they will have a chance to win!
We are in search of additional tea sets so each participant can have their own tea cup and saucer for the afternoon. If you have any old tea sets you would like to donate to this outreach for years to come, we will be accepting donations through March 23rd!
Get your calendars out, because April Awareness Month is right around the corner, and we want YOU there! During Awareness Month, we host fundraisers, unity events, and outreaches to share with the community our mission and God’s work through us, as well as the good news of the Gospel! This year, we are kicking off the month with our 12th Annual Holy Smoke Barbeques, the first being held April 15th at the Bryan High School cafeteria, and the second being held on April 22nd at Christ United Methodist Church where we will be serving JJ’s famous barbeque. Our next big event will take place on May 3rd with our 2nd Annual Sweets for the Soul Pastor Cook-off, where pastors come together for fellowship and to compete to win great prizes for the best all-around dessert! Throughout the month, we visit churches, service clubs, and other organizations to spread awareness of the services, programs, and assistance S.O.S. offers. Additionally, we host prayer walks and “Hit N Run” outreaches where we take sausage on a stick, Christian rappers, and the gospel to neighborhoods throughout Bryan.
Here are some ways YOU can partner with us during this exciting month!
1. Physically: Attend one of our fundraising or outreach events and share your experience with SOS and walk with Christ.
2. Financially: Fill out the enclosed insert to support our Awareness outreaches and other events throughout the month.
3. Prayerfully: Pray that God would move in the hearts of believers to join us in God’s mission for SOS, and in the hearts of the lost to surrender their lives to God!