Dordt College News

'Women of Promise' begin outreach ministry

March 7, 2005

As luggage is packed into Dordt’s 15-passenger van, it looks like a typical group of college girls, taking a weekend trip with more baggage then they’ll need in a month. But look in their hearts, says leader Linsay Carlson, and you’ll see a heap of emotional baggage that is given daily to the Lord. Women of Faith

It’s the Women of Promise Leadership team, headed to St. Louis March 4-6 to lead a retreat at Providence High School for the Performing Arts. The young women have also led a high school co-ed retreat in Lynn Grove, Iowa, and a weekend retreat for Dordt women at the Carmel Reformed Church.

At each retreat, the Women of Promise Leadership Team tries to help young people deal with issues of identity, value, and purity that all women face.

“The goal of this ministry is for each young woman to develop a personal love relationship with Christ, believe who the Word says she is in Christ, and become a woman of purpose to impact eternity,” says Linsay Carlson, who is now in her seventh year as a resident director at Dordt. We talk about our relationship with Christ, each person’s unique identity, and how to serve God.”

Carlson said the concept for the group came to her two years ago, when a book she had read, “Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry” (author Lisa Bevere) spoke to her heart. She wanted to share the book with young women at Dordt, and saw an outpouring of interest. Four study groups were formed, three led by Carlson.

“Together we experienced the Lord’s healing in our lives from past sins, hurts, abuse and false ideas of femininity. We learned that the Lord’s love is more satisfying and intimate than any other loves we seek,” said Carlson. “As we discover the worth we have in Jesus Christ, we can become women of purity, strength, dignity, honor and impact for the kingdom of God.”

After a year of soul searching and spiritual growth, Carlson challenged participants to take the next step, to move beyond their group into outreach. Accepting the challenge to head up a leadership team were Manuela Ayee, Sioux Center; Andrea Van Wyk and Abby Triezenberg, Ireton, IA; Lindsey Holsing, Le Mars; Liz McPherson, Lincoln, NE; Sheila De Stigter, Colorado Springs, CO, Shannon Hubers, Bellhaven, NC; Marike Boerema, Pantego, NC, and Khara Chilcote, Mililani, HI.

“It’s a little intimidating, but a good experience,” says Marike Boerma. She says her life has been hugely impacted by the time spent with Women of Promise, reflecting, journaling and talking about topics they hadn’t felt free to talk about in the past. Boerma notes that their leader paved the way by sharing her own journal entries, and speaking with passion from her heart.

“It’s amazing to see how God has worked through honesty and accountability,” says Van Wyk. “When you have a willing heart, God works through that.”

In moving from participant to leader, Boerma said she’s been amazed at the response as high school kids hear “that you’re struggling too—that they’re not the only ones struggling with issues” including lust, purity or appropriate attire for a Christian to wear. Women of Promise has been an eye-opening experience, she says, because it has forced her and the other members of the group to be brutally honest and deal with personal issues.

“These young women are some of the most promising young leaders I’ve ever met,” says Carlson. “They’ve had a huge impact on my life.” She hopes that by confronting hard issues together, they’ve been empowered to do more, expect more, and become the women of God he intends them to be.

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