We desire more than anything to give each of the girls we minister to the knowledge of the Gospel so that the Lord can deliver them, both here and for eternity. We desire a place for them to feel accepted and loved. We point them to their true value in Christ with the desire that they will learn to go the the Lord daily for themselves to be fed and then pour into others. We long for all of us to see our purpose as God designed us and fulfill it!
What we do:
- We minister to a group of girls (ages 3- 23) and potentially their mothers. We do our best to teach them deep truths of God's word and show them a better way to live as Christ commands us.
- We meet every other Friday during the school year for regular class and prayer meetings.
- We have a leadership team that we prayerfully hand pick out of our larger group. They begin the process of learning how to serve this ministry and the girls in it.
- We host a camp each summer to deepen our relationship with them and Christ.
- We have also held purity conferences and special events as God's leads us to benefit the needs of the girls we serve.
How we began...
Let me back up to the beginning.
Approximately 8 years ago, my oldest daughter wanted to start a bible study for her friends. She was all of 6 years old. I told her to pray about it because we didn't want to start something without the power of God behind it.
So she did and about 2 weeks later she came back to me and told me she felt that God was behind it and she felt we should do it. So I said, “Ok!” And that was the birth of GWAP.
For a year I would pick up the 6-7 girls (4-6 yr. olds and 1-2 my youngest daughter’s age…which was 3) each Friday and bring them to my house. We would read and study God’s word, do some sort of craft, eat snacks, sing and worship and then just run around and have some fun. I will say that initially it was a fluffy study, but they were 6!
As they got older and my youngest wanted to add 2 friends, I asked our pastor if we could use the church to give us some more room to do crafts and spread out a little. He readily agreed. We continued for another year, doing virtually a VBS each Friday. There were 4 older girls with me, and 4 younger girls with a mother volunteer. They loved it. We went to a Secret-Keeper Girl Pajama Party, we began an annual New Year’s Eve sleep-over, we sponsored an orphan, we made t-shirts, and it was lite and fun.
At some point I started feeling some conviction with the older group to stop the fluffy bible study and offer some real truths. I also began receiving requests to ask other girls from school to come. I kinda avoided this question for some time for several reasons. First, we live in a small town and it would be hard to decide who to invite and who not to invite. Secondly, the funding was out of my own pocket and I didn’t think I could afford to let this study go wide open, who knew how many might show up? And lastly is the worse reason of all…I was scared to commit myself to such a large task that might involve girls that I didn’t like as well as the ones we had now. How self-focused! Well, no worries, God quickly showed me my selfishness. After a weekend of God reminding me who has been, and who will, provide for His callings, then drew images of my prayer list of 3 years (which had included some of the girls my group was asking to invite). And for a finale He showed me that my group of girls were more Kingdom focused than I because their reasons for inviting some of these girls was because they knew they were not being fed God’s Word and they needed to be. I tearfully fell on my face asked for forgiveness and began typing the invitations…for the whole class!
Amazingly by Tuesday of that week God had doubled our group!! Moms were calling telling me how excited their daughters were because they have wanted to come for so long! I was astounded! I had no idea that we’d have so many!
Along with my, shall we say, “refocusing” that God led me in, He also was telling me to begin giving these girls meat! NO MORE FLUFFY BIBLE STUDIES! These girls were 8-9 years old and they needed some hard facts. So we cut out the craft and got down to some hardcore bible lessons. Real life issues that could call on hearts and convict. We had 5 come forward at our end of year meeting to profess Christ. And through time and diligence we've seen that 3 of these girls have shown the obedience of baptism and are now growing in grace.
Since that year things have been a blur! God has continued to multiply girls, add moms, provide for and bless a GWAP summer camp, put on a purity event that rippled in ways I never dreamt, restore my daughters and others to teaching positions, train other girls as leaders, grace us with salvations and baptisms, even some that are now back at home in South Korea! He has taught me, disciplined me, and blessed me beyond measure as I fumbled my way through leading these girls.
We are looking ahead to our first trip out of state to experience the Creation Museum and Ark in May!! And then our 4th camp in July and then on into this fall's classes, God willing. And I'm sure He has more in store to stretch me and grow me, and I am ready!
If you would've told me this is where God was taking us 8 years ago, I would have laughed or gone stark mad in fear! But here we sit...as our theme verse says, with the beauty of the Lord our God upon us establishing the works of our hands for us! Hallelujah!!!
That is our story…that is God’s story, and I am blessed to be the teller of it.