Dear sister in Christ:
Do you know how amazing you are? God smiles at strangers having a bad day – through you. God gives hugs to the discouraged – through you. And God speaks the name of Jesus – through you. If you’re like most of us, you might sometimes doubt that God can really use you. But, no matter how you might feel as you read this today, God doesn’t doubt you. God entrusts to you, and to me, the adventure of a lifetime! Together, we can embrace a life of legacy, of living – and giving – Jesus’ life to the full. I hope this message invites you to stand confidently on your “front lines,” by committing to love two women this year toward Jesus. Together, by 2025, the nearly 100,000 women involved with Stonecroft can love 1 million women toward Jesus. Don’t you call that – and your God-given influence – AMAZING?
– Dr. Naomi Cramer Overton, Stonecroft President and CEO
“I said to the nobles, the officials and to the rest of the people, ‘The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. At whatever place you hear the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us!’” – Nehemiah 4:19-20, NASB
During my first-year listening tour, I’ve been listening to hundreds of amazing Stonecroft women. Just like you.
As I studied Scripture, listened to you, and asked, “What’s your vision for how many women we might reach by 2025?”, you’ve said things like “limitless,” and “with God there’s no limit.” We have calculated that we can reach, in faith, this number: 1 million women hearing the Gospel through our work by 2025. Just like in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard … what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
One million women is a big number! I asked God, “Where do we begin?”
I fasted and prayed and asked God for one word to lead us now. That one word is rally. It is to encourage each woman in Stonecroft for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
Definitions for rally include recover or cause to recover in health, spirits, or poise; come together again to continue fighting after a defeat or dispersion; and to have a comeback. This word reminds me of what God is doing in and through you.
I have heard you describe this pattern: You came to Stonecroft when you were new, then you were nudged, through sisters in faith you have been nurtured, and you are NOT DONE. You are ready to rally! We will rally by restoring our wonder, reuniting as sisters around Jesus, and revving our rally, as we identify God-sized dreams for ourselves and our ministry.
Who do we rally around? We rally as we reunite around one name: Jesus. Isaiah 11:10 (NIV) gives a vision of where God is taking us: “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.”
How can God rally us to love 1 million women toward Jesus? By our answering these two questions: “Who are the women who need Jesus in our community?”and “How can we reach them?”
Think about the God-sized dream for your place in this rally. I believe each of us was called to this time and place. Come with me. Let’s follow the banner – Jehovah Nissi (“God is our banner”) – into the fight, on our front lines. A fight against our own discouragement, our dispersion, and our own ways of forgetting God’s dreams. A fight for each woman – for her – to meet our LORD, our hope, our Jesus. A fight – for her – to find who God has intricately and unmistakably made her to be.
Personal reflection questions:
Think about how God raises up people to restore others, as He did Esther. How might God have chosen you “for such a time as this”?
What “limitless dream” do you have for how our ministry can love 1 million women toward Jesus by 2025?
Dr. Naomi Cramer Overton
President and CEO