Open to Change

Springarama is a women’s conference held in Eastern Ontario and organized by Women’s Ministries International (WMI).  This year’s theme was “Spring Up and Clean Up” based on Psalm 51:10, “Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God.”

I first looked to the WMI’s mission statement to gain insight into what the weekend was all about, “Our desire is to see women in a passionate relationship with Christ by providing opportunities to build healthy relationships, identify and use their gifts and motivate women to impact their local, national and global communities for Christ.” Sounds pretty good so far!

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The weekend is filled with worship, prayer, workshops and fellowship.  Not only is it a time for women across the FMCiC to connect but also a time to focus on missions.   I spoke with Springarama committee member Linda Coates (Odessa FMC) to learn more.  “We take up an offering for missions and have a silent auction  to raise money for FMCiC missions projects.”

Donna Elford spoke four times over the weekend.  Linda was deeply moved by Donna’s powerful and passionate words on Saturday afternoon, “Joy is not getting what you want.  It is fully appreciating what you have.  Donna talked about the overall scheme of things – that God is still God and He is in control.  And even though we may not be happy we can still REJOICE!”

Donna Elford

I asked Donna how she plans and prepares for this type of conference.  “I spend many days fasting and praying over the months before for the right Scriptures to use, the right approach to take and then I keep listening for what God will teach me from the Scriptures.  I try to be vulnerable and yet always point to the scriptural principles, the richness of God’s promises and His faithfulness because it’s all about what He wants to accomplish.”

Donna’s theme “Dare to Experiment; Open to Change” was based on parts of Philippians 3 and 4. She both encouraged and challenged women “to step it up” as followers of Jesus and as mentors to others.  The sessions touched on topics like attitude and perception.  She also spoke about prayer life and thought life during times of anxiety and intense life situations.

And what did God do among the women at Springarama? “I strongly sensed and also heard from many women that they want to be challenged and grow in their faith.   I was once again so thankful for God’s faithfulness and amazed at how God took simple messages that are based in His Word and powerfully used them to encourage, convict, restore or heal us often all at the same time.  Only God can do that!  I came away more confident than ever that God is at work among our women and that they are open and ready to watch God move among us.

Springarama has been going strong for over 25 years.  If you want to check it out in 2016 visit their website: http://www.wmi-fmcic.com/Springarama.html.  If you can’t attend for a full weekend there will be a one day option in 2016.  Stay tuned!

 

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