Saturday, October 15, 2011
Review of EW Conference
Last weekend my sister and I drove to Lynchburg, VA for the annual Extraordinary Women's Conference. I had bought our tickets back in March, March 31st to be exact. I bought my tickets around 2pm, by 6pm they were SOLD OUT! Some of the headliners promising for an amazing weekend were: Jennifer Rothschild, Jeremy Camp, Francesca Battistelli, and Sarah Palin. Lyn and I were so psyched for a weekend of rest, renewal and fellowship!
Well. To sum it up, it was a marketing convention with good music. There was something like 10,000 women in attendance, and believe me it sure felt like it. The majority of the speakers who got up were trying to sell their books or devotional series, which was very disappointing. Re and I thought that this would be a weekend where we could open out hearts to some "world-class" Christian speakers, but it was just a ploy to sell their books! No matter where you looked were posters and banners and ads for their books! The President of Extraordinary Women, Julie Clinton, was also peddling her teenage daughter's books!
One ministry which was represented which we fully believe in was 'House of Hope.' As the founder and president Sara Trollinger said, we are in the process of losing an entire generation, teens. This is a non-profit organization focusing on troubled teens. The video that played spoke of teenagers who were in gangs, cutters, violent outbursts, etc. that were saved by House of Hope. The saddest part? The amount of disrespect that was given to a woman giving the story of how she went there as a teen and has since returned as an instructor. She went on to say that if it weren't for House of Hope, she would either be dead or in jail today. WOW.
Let me back up a bit... Re and I purchased tickets for the 2 pre-conference workshops, which was the best part of the weekend. The two workshops, 'Making Relationships Work' with Dr. Linda Mintle and 'Personality Makeover' with Tammy Bennett. Both were incredible. Which of course set us up for MAJOR disappointment with the conference later. I'll be posting about these two workshops, as the messages were very important and interesting!
The music was phenomenal. I mean seriously, like Jeremy Camp could ever disappoint?
photos courtesy of my friend Kimberly's facebook, with permission
And Francesca Battistelli can belt it! Here she sang a song with her husband that she wrote for her son:
Michael O'Brien and the Praise and Worship Band were INCREDIBLE Michael O'Brien was formerly the lead singer for Newsong. He has an amazing testimony, which you can see here and read about him here. He's so REAL. Unlike the majority of the women/speakers/authors there. He speaks about his past, and where he was when he realized he needed to serve Christ. I got goosebumps when he sang The Lord's Prayer. Seriously this guy can freaking sing. And the fact that he has a past makes him a testimonial of what the Lord can do for us. I challenge you to watch the video of his testimony.
Anyways, we didn't end up going back the 2nd day, but rather slept in, went out to breakfast, and spent too much money at Lifeway Christian Store, then headed home. Needless to say, we won't be going back next year! But even after all that, I wouldn't have traded that weekend for ANYTHING. I got to spend 3 days with my best friend, my beautiful sister Lyn. And that was worth sitting through the over-crowded marketing convention for!