Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tea Time

My heart is full and overflowing!!!
I am so thankful for the way the Lord blessed at our first Ladies Tea.

The decorations.....

All the decorations I used were very simple, yet stunningly beautiful. 






It was so exciting as ladies started coming through the door.  All the planning and preparation was done and the time for our first Ladies Tea had come.  If you remember, I was praying to have 12-15 in attendance.  Although I had personally invited 4 ladies, only one of them had commited to come.  Other ladies had also been inviting friends and I had places set for 16.

visiting with ladies while waiting for everyone to arrive
It was time to start and my guest {Sylvia} had not shown up.  Needless to say, I was disappointed.  I had prayed earnestly and I really believed that she was going to come.  I sure had wanted to have a friend there that I had invited, but I was excited that our regular church ladies had friends with them.

Just as I was heading in to welcome everyone and get started, the door opened again.  To my great delight, it was the lady that I had invited from a little fabric store that I have been to on several ocassions.  I am so glad that I listened to that still small voice when it told me to stop by and give her an invitation.  Not only was I very pleased that she came, but also that God had answered my prayer and I had friend there that I had personally invited. 
    
my guest, Nadeshda, and I
We started off our activity with a delicious lunch.  Even though many of the ladies did not already know each other, everyone enjoyed fellowshiping with one another.


The devotional....

I had spent hours studying the devotional that God had laid on my heart.  Most of all I had prayed, my family prayed faithfully for me as I prepared, and many friends had showered me with prayer and I felt the Lord's presence with me in a very real way.  I was still nervous though!  In fact, when lunch was done and I started giving my lesson I thought, this is like it is in a different language!  Of course, it was in a different language, but it looked like a language that I had NEVER seen before.  Even as I said the words, it was like I had no idea what was coming out of my mouth.  Thankfully, that did not last very long because the Lord quickly calmed my heart and I was able to consintrate on what I was saying.
The lesson was very simple (mostly for my sake), but I also wanted to share the most important thing that unsaved people can hear - the simple plan of salvation.
My prayer now is that the seeds that were planted in their hearts will grow.     


At the close of my lesson, we sang "What A Friend We Have In Jesus".  It is such a awesome thought to know that Jesus wants to be our friend.

getting ready to sing

Craft time....

One of our activities was covering and decorating picture frames.  I had beautiful fabrics to choose from with lots of accessories {buttons, ribbons, flowers, jewels, etc}.  The ladies really enjoyed this project.  Creative juices started flowing as they decorated their frame according to their personal taste.


Sarah and I had also made lots of sugar cookies (tea pots, tea cups, and muffins) to decorate.  A couple ladies did not want to make a frame but they enjoyed getting to "paint" some cookies.  Several other ladies spent a few minutes after their frame was done decorating a few cookies to take home.


As the ladies left each one thanked me for a wonderful time.  I received many encouraging comments and several ladies expressed an interest in attending our Sunday services. What a blessing!  My heart was filled with gratitude for all that God had done.

first Ladies Tea October 2011
(left to right) Sveta, Galina, Lena, Nellie (Valodia's wife), Olga, Penny, Rachel, Lisa, Sylvia
(front row - left to right) Irina, Marita, Lena   (Nadeshda - not pictured)

Special Thanks!!!

I would like to express my sincere thanks to people who played an important roll in making my first ladies activity a success.  Of course, first and foremost I want to thank God.  The entire day would have been a waste of time had He not been with me.  I am so thankful for His guidance and strength.  
Other people that helped make this day possible....
Lisa Sampson
Lisa is a fellow missionary and my friend.  She lives in Narva (45 minutes away) and arrived early Saturday morning to help with final preparations.  I appreciated Lisa's willingness to be a help. 

Penny Smith
Penny is also a fellow missionary and friend.  She rode the bus from Tallinn (2 hours away) to help me out.  I asked her to come and help fellowship with people.  It would have been hard for me "mingle" and fellowship with all the ladies by myself.  Penny was a blessing!

My Family
My family was a huge blessing.  For weeks leading up to our activity they prayed daily for God's blessings.  They helped with lots of preparation work.  Ron, Daniel, and Sarah served lunch to our guests and even did a lot of the clean up work.  (Andrew was at home watching Caleb).  I love each of them and am so glad we can serve God as a family.

Sequoia Baptist Church Ladies 
  I am so thankful for the way this special group of ladies jumped in and helped.  Many of them bought supplies, decorations, candles, and paper goods that were sent for us to use.  I am humbled by their sacrificial giving.  Thank you, my dear friends,  from the bottom of my heart! 

Praying Friends
Of course, each of you that prayed for this special event had a part in making it a success.  God answered your prayers and gave us a great day.  It is such a blessing to have praying friends!

My Mom
She was my encourager from the minute I told her I wanted to host a ladies tea.  She was the one who encouraged the ladies of our home church to be a part in gathering the supplies we needed to have sent. 
I also know that she spent time in prayer for me and this activity.  What touched my heart the most was the note she sent me Saturday morning.  It encouraged me for the day ahead more than she will ever know.
I love you, Mom!

8 comments:

  1. This is absolutely awesome! Everything looked beautiful for a ladies' tea. It is amazing to see such a wonderful group of ladies. May God give long lasting fruit from this event. I'm glad God blessed this event so bountifully. I'm proud of what you did and how God used you! :)

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  2. So glad to see how well things turned out. Looks like everyone had a great time. Proud of you for all your hard work and giving the devotional! I know a lot of work goes on "behind the scenes" for events like these. I am sure the ladies will never forget this memory you made with them. Pray they come to services as a result of your kindness to them.

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  3. Praise the Lord! What a blessing hear and see all that the Lord did! Everything was absolutely beautiful and you gave me so many good ideas I'll have to store away.

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  4. Such a blessing that it went so well! I could see that God did exceedingly abundantly for you.

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  5. Yay, Rachel! Such a great report and so encouraging for all of us to see how God is moving you forward in the ministry. I especially loved reading how your family helped and encouraged you along the way.

    Can't wait to hear of your next event!!! :-)

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  6. Praise the Lord!! It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

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  7. Praise the Lord! I'm so happy it went so well! I was thinking of you and praying for you. Our Internet wasn't very good in Iceland so I couldn't wait to see how everything went once I got home and could check your blog!

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  8. I really enjoyed reading this post. I just happened to come across your blog. I do not know you, but I would love to follow your blog :)

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An encouraging word is always welcome and much appreciated!

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