Wherever Paula Chapman goes, she prays for open doors to share Jesus with others. “Doors represent hospitality,” said Paula, a Stonecroft volunteer in Woodbridge, Virginia. “God gives us open-door opportunities to meet people and to share His love with them. If we miss that opportunity, it may not come again.”
Paula learned a lot about opening her own door to others when she got involved in the Woodbridge Women’s Connection 20 years ago. Ann Kekic, now a Women’s Connection Area Representative, mentored Paula in hospitality and leadership.
Today, Paula shares what she’s learned with a younger generation of Stonecroft women. As a Hub Ambassador, she helps young women reach their peers through Stonecroft hubs. One volunteer she mentors is Yury (pronounced “Judy”) Herrera, a 30-something mom of three.
Yury already was a Christ-follower when Paula invited her to Pretty Hurts, a Stonecroft outreach geared toward young women. Yury knew nothing about Stonecroft then but loved what she saw. She and Paula developed a friendship, and soon Paula asked her to help launch a hub in Woodbridge.
“I’d been praying for an older woman to mentor me and be a voice of wisdom in my life,” Yury said. “I told Paula, ‘You’re that woman!’”
As Yury and several other young women planned outreaches through the developing hub, Paula supported them behind the scenes – watching kids, preparing food, offering encouragement.
“I’d say, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to do this! Who’s going to attend?’” Yury recalled. “Paula would say, ‘Just open your doors, and it will all come together.’ That’s exactly what happened!”
Last year Yury and her family moved to the Washington, D.C., suburb of Springfield, Virginia, a 30-minute drive from Woodbridge. She hopes to start a hub in her new community. To help Yury get more training for that, Paula traveled with her to Stonecroft’s Hub Leader Retreat in Kansas City last November. During most of the conference, Paula blessed Yury by caring for her infant son so Yury could focus on learning.
From Paula’s perspective, she’s just doing what God requires of her. “If we’re not investing in the younger generations, we’re not obeying the Bible. We’re called to feed the sheep and the lambs,” she said.
“God puts me – and you – in the right place at the right time. But we have to open our eyes and ears,” Paula added. “We’ve got to be willing to walk through the open doors.”