Last night (2 August 2013) I had the most amazing experience. 70 girls, aged between 13 and 15 years, about 80 women and about 10 men dressed up in suits. The result being all of them praising Jesus in one accord. The idea began when my friend, Monre Van Der Nest, was walking around in a grocery store. The idea just hit him. We have more than we need, so why can’t we give back a bit? As the founder of i_GAF_u (I pray grace and favor over you), he went straight to work to turn this dream into a reality. He partnered with Vividus Ladies who generously supported the happening.
After a few months of intense planning, organizing and a lot of praying, 2 August 2013 finally arrived. Busses were on cue, and left around lunch to pick up the girls from the school and the orphanage. From there on the girls met up at the mall with their mentor, and friend, for the day. Each pair received a gift voucher, allowing them to buy something pretty. This was the perfect way to start of the day, because if there’s one thing that women know how to do, it’s shopping!
After finding the perfect outfit, the princesses (as they were called throughout the day) arrived at the theater, where the fun and games continued. It was now time to play dress up. The mentors assisted with makeup to turn the girls into beautiful blossoming princesses. After enjoying finger snacks (which include the most delicious cupcakes), the festivities continued.
The princesses streamed into the theater, which looked somewhat like a fairy tale. With hearts hanging from the walls and lights sparkling all around, it seemed a bit like a dream. Simoné Nortmann (Nadia from 7de laan, SA’s favorite soapie) took on the role of MC for the night. After a short video was shown about what true beauty is, men in suits rushed in with roses and handed them to some of the girls. Simoné then shared her heart on the subject of finding our worth, as women, in Christ. Mentioning that it is only in Christ Jesus that we can truly have an identity that is unshakeable.
Gillian Stander (from Hillsong Church Pretoria) gave a motivational speech, which was more like having a conversation with her. Her face shone with radiance that came from within. You could see how passionate she is about Christ by just listening to her voice.
Coming from a place where she didn’t want anything to do with Jesus, she met the Lord about 10 years ago at a church service in London, while visiting her sister. She didn’t know what it was, or why she decided to commit her life to the Lord that night, all she knew was that there was something stirring in her heart that she couldn’t deny.
The part of the conversation that gripped me most went something like this:
“We are all made with a hole inside of us. We try to fill it with friends, boys, work. It’s God’s fault that we’re looking for things to fill it. It’s because we actually need to fill it with Him. That’s the only way we will ever satisfy our desire to be loved. You might think I’m crazy that I’m saying it’s God’s fault, but it is! I’ll prove it! In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it says, ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart;’. See I told you it’s God’s fault.”
There was something about the way she told her story, that makes you realize there is hope, there is love, there is Someone who can give you complete fulfillment. She continued by stating that she placed God first, above everything in her life. After she had done this, and was totally committed to living for Him, and finding her worth in Him, and only Him, her husband walked into her life. A beautiful picture of her and her husband was thrown onto the screen and made everyone become instant romantics.
Duis:Lig, led by Kriss Tel and Hennie Maritz, took over with worship. During this time God revealed Himself to the hearts who were seeking Him. Tears flowed (a lot of them), voices sang out to Jesus, hope was revealed, hearts were healed.
This one day turned out to be life-changing event. A day that the princesses will remember for the rest of their lives. A day where women realized their true identity. Walking away with a certainty in their hearts, knowing they are loved beyond measure.