Two simultaneous Coffee Break conferences in the U.S. and Canada this spring attracted 1,500 women who gathered to celebrate God’s grace and listen to moving testimonies.
Nearly 700 women gathered in Oakville, Ontario, for The Amazing Race, the 14th annual Ontario Coffee Break Women’s Conference sponsored by Christian Reformed Home Missions. The women, reflecting on the race of life they are called to run, focused on God’s amazing grace. Those attending included Coffee Break leaders and participants as well as friends and neighbors.
The same day, thousands of miles away in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 800 women packed a hotel for the 15th annual Morning of Joy, a Gathering for Women. That conference was sponsored by the Home Missions North Central U.S. Ministry Team.
The Amazing Race began with worship led by Ruth-Ann Schurringa and the worship team from Immanuel CRC, Brampton, Ontario. Opening devotions encouraged the women to surrender the things they are troubled about and take the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus.
A drama called “The Plate Spinner” humorously set the conference’s theme in motion, as a woman worked at spinning the various “plates” in her life.
One of the conference’s main speakers was Barb VanGiessen. She and fellow speaker Coby Hogendoorn coached women with God’s Word through a series of clues, road blocks, and detours. Throughout the “race,” women were challenged to make new commitments to spend time studying the Bible and connect with others who will support and encourage them along life’s journey.
The Morning of Joy conference was highlighted by several heartbreaking stories about finding God’s peace during times of incredible loss. A Minnesota couple told of losing their three daughters, who died in an automobile accident on the way to their brother’s wedding. The couple shared how God brought them comfort and encouragement through the Bible in the face of this terrible tragedy.
The conference attracted women from South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota. Attendance was more than double the previous conference, making it the largest group to ever attend a Morning of Joy gathering in the region.
Coffee Break, part of Home Missions’ small groups ministry, is an outreach-oriented small-group Bible study for women. Using an informal, low-key approach, Coffee Break encourages women to discover for themselves what the Bible says and means for their lives. Thousands of people have come to know Christ through Coffee Break.