On November 8-10, 2012, Conference Host Leola Sellers convened the 6th Women of Vision Mission Conference at the picturesque Lake Junaluska Retreat and Conference Center in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. The Conference is held annually for their building projects (the Harvest House Orphanage and Harvest Temple Church) in Moloto, Africa.
In addition to a host of over 200 women arriving for the conference, many spouses and children converged onto the Lake Junaluska conference grounds from areas including the Bahamas, Bermuda, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina and North Carolina. Embracing the conference theme of “Exchanging our Sight for God’s Vision,” everyone was ready for a renewal in expanding their vision. Ready for this mountain top experience the delegates were in need for nothing, comfortable rooms, regular unlimited meals, early morning fitness opportunities, and lots of God’s beautiful nature.
At the first service on Thursday evening, November 8, Evangelist Maxine Johnson preached the kick off message on “Losing your sight for God’s vision” from Exodus 14:10-14, emphasizing, “You are in the best season of your life.” In her message, she pressed everyone to, “Stop going back to nothing, and that the enemy should not be allowed to play the people of God.” She challenged everyone to see themselves beyond where they are right now.
Early Friday morning included a prayer walk, gathering around the lighted cross perched atop the high point in view of a virtual lightly misted valley below. At least one of the participants was out for an early morning run, communicating with the loquacious geese likely surprised to see her in the crisp morning. Also, the first morning session began with Angela Baldwin who spoke on “Seeing As He Sees.” Ms. Baldwin’s spoke about the woman caught in adultery. This woman was seen by Jesus in a entirely different way than her accusers; God’s grace looks beyond what man sees and sees the potential in His creation. Georgian Carter continued with the theme encouraging listeners to embrace God’s vision through faith, looking beyond what the regular eye can see. In the General Session on Friday, Evangelist Maxine Johnson ministered from II Kings 4: where the Shunamite woman pronounced that all is well, despite how her situation appeared. She saw her situation through eyes of strength in God.
Two afternoon sessions were offered for those looking to grow their practical knowledge in the areas of health and finance. Melony Saunders, RN spoke on Health Matters stressing the importance of taking care of one’s health. Furthermore, everyone has a direct part to play in how their body functions. Marva Philip, MBA coached the Personal Financial Smarts II session with group interaction and conveying the importance of reaching toward financial freedom. Her final thought was “Imagine how God’s work can be impacted when the people of God are not encumbered with weighty financial cares of this world when they are free to live, give, and serve. On Friday evening, Evangelist Jennifer Porter-Cox ministered from Numbers 13:26-33 and Matthew 13 on Finding a New Normal–– Society is image saturated and everyone wants to fit in. Pressure is on for those who cannot handle fitting in. Therefore, the church must take a faithful and loyal stand for the Word of God in today’s world.
On Saturday, November 10, Evangelist Jennifer Porter-Cox preached from II Kings: 6: 8-17 on “The Battle is the Lord’s.” In line with the conference theme, Evangelist Porter-Cox emphasized that it is not about what the church can see, but it is what God has for His people. God’s people must place their cares on Him. Also, the pressure and responsibility for their lives are no longer theirs but God’s. Her message resonated that delegates would leave the conference changed. She stated,” When you go home off this mountain you must be different.” As there is no such thing as a private transformation, the change God births will be evident to others. Since we are not anybody’s grasshopper or puppet, the Spirit of God will take us to a place where eagles dwell.” Evangelist Porter-Cox admonished that the retreat would not cancel anyone’s enemies, but it could change their focus by exchanging their sight for God’s vision, and standing firm in what they believe about God. Buses and cars from North Carolina and beyond descended from the mountain, released to see as God sees. Many said they would never be the same!
God truly is blessing the efforts of Bishop Asbury and Leola Sellers in their mission endeavors. The orphanage and church are very near completion and will be dedicated in April 2013. To God Be the Glory for the great things He has done!
–Marva Philip, Christian Life Church of God, Baltimore, Maryland