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I had the most gracious opportunity to attend The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference in Indianapolis this past weekend. Through expository preaching on 1 Peter, the conference aimed to teach women how to stand firm in God’s grace through fiery trials. More than 7,000 women gathered, worshiped, and learned together, and it was thrilling.

A memorable conference highlight were the women I met at the RAAN booth in the exhibit hall. There were some who never heard of the ministry, and I was delighted to be one of the faces they encountered. There were some who kindly prayed with me, that the ministry’s reach will grow. And then there were others who lit my heart on fire. I call them the women on the frontlines, and I must share their stories, if only to strengthen and encourage them.

-To the Chinese woman in New York, who is currently fostering two little black boys alongside her daughters, you are a wonder. God’s providence guided those children into your family’s loving hands, and they are blessed to have you. God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6), and I’m so glad it was your family he chose.

-To the white woman in Tennessee, who purposefully moved to the inner-city with her husband, your soul’s passion reached our RAAN table before you did. Though you feel a bit ill-equipped to minister to the black girls who are quickly becoming black women, understand that God will mightily use your presence for their good, for you are the aroma of Christ (2. Cor. 2:14).

-To the white woman in Michigan, who is married to a lonely black man marginalized by their church, do not forget that God sees your tears. Indeed he records them (Psalm 56:8). Do not grow weary in your fight for others to see the image of God in your spouse; do not give up (Gal. 6:9).

There were also others who approached us asking for guidance in doing life well with their black brothers and sisters. Walking with and bearing the burdens is no small thing.

I was born into my black skin, and did not have a choice in the hardship that naturally comes with it. But you, my dear sisters, chose the plight that comes with aligning yourself with a person of color. You are choosing the hard conversations. You are choosing the hateful looks. You are choosing the alienation. To take on the burden and trouble of another, beloved, this is Christ (Gal. 6:2).

As the term racial reconciliation is slowly becoming a dull byword for some, it is your stories and lives that should be highlighted in the Church to display what love looks like. Continue to take heart in your daily lives, and I pray God will allow you to see the fruit of your work in this lifetime.

Through Christ we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then we are no longer strangers and aliens, but we are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him we also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

(Ephesians 2:18-22)

 

Photo by Pascale Lourdes Anty
IG: @pascale.lourdes

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