Ladies from across Kansas-Nebraska gathered in Scottsbluff (Nebraska) over 10 days to host the first “God in Shoes” Women’s Ministry program. Outreach activities for the September event included food drives, Family Fun Day, Supper & Seminars, Ladies Only Free Spa Day, “Welcome Baby” baskets, food boxes and painting at the local women’s shelter.
Hearts were touched in the community. A little guy at Family Fun Day asked one of the helpers, “Is this God in Shoes?” She said, “Yes!” and he replied, “I didn’t know God in Shoes could be so fun!” Another couple expressed interest in knowing what kind of church would offer these free services.
Weekday evenings the women hosted the community for a supper and two seminars. Topics included: Healthy Living; Helping Kids Succeed in School; Healthy, Affordable Meals; and Interviewing for a Job. The second seminar, designed to extend hope amid an unstable world, was titled “Power for Living.” Resources and contact information from local Seventh-day Adventist churches were also distributed.
One Friday, a steady stream of ladies came to the Carpenter Center for the “Ladies Only Free Spa Day.” Our staff provided facials, foot massages, manicures, chair and table massages, a finger food buffet, a new pair of shoes, and a free bag filled with spa items, plus the book Surprised by Love by Elizabeth Talbot. One lady expressed appreciation for the shoes, saying she had no money and didn’t know if her shoes would last the winter. Two other visitors exclaimed, “We’ve never owned a new pair of shoes!”
As ladies received manicures and facials, they relaxed and talked with our staff about some of the personal challenges they were experiencing. What a blessing it was to listen and then pray with them about the things they shared! Ladies who staffed the God in Shoes Program felt affirmed in ministry, realizing they had something to offer their communities.
Scottsbluff area churches are planning their own annual Family Fun Day as well as Free Spa Day. Bible studies have begun and several ladies have attended church with their children.
Recently my husband (conference president Ron Carlson) and I were checking into a Scottsbluff hotel. The clerk, upon hearing that we are Seventh-day Adventists, exclaimed, “Oh, you’re the people who do the God in Shoes ministry. That is so awesome!”
When was the last time you heard the word “awesome” and “Seventh-day Adventist” used in the same sentence by a non-Adventist? Perhaps this is what Ellen White meant when she said, “Christ’s method alone will bring true success when reaching the people. He mingled with men as one who desired their good, ministered to their needs, won their confidence, then He bade them, ‘Follow Me!”’ (Ministry of Healing, p. 143).
Next September God in Shoes Ministry will come to Wichita, Kansas. To learn more contact Sue Carlson at 785.478.4726 or email email@example.com.
Sue Carlson is women’s ministries director for Kansas-Nebraska Conference.