During the time leading up to the Babylonian exile the Israelites continually turned away from God, refusing to repent of their sins and to follow God’s commandments. The exile could have marked the end of the Jews.
“Jerusalem was decimated and the temple was burned. It seemed like that was it,” said Kelly Minter, a popular writer, speaker and worship leader whose latest women’s Bible study is on Nehemiah. “But we know God was gracious because God brought the Jews back.”
Minter is the featured speaker for the 2012 Women’s Prayer and Evangelism Conference, Sept. 7-8 at Ridgecrest Conference Center. The conference theme is “Redeeming Love,” which Minter explains can be seen throughout the book of Nehemiah.
“God was not just going to send Nehemiah to build, but to help him rebuild,” she said. “God is a rebuilder. He helps rebuild the lives of His people.”
Her latest women’s Bible study focuses on God’s redeeming love for His people, and how God has called believers to be ministers of that redeeming love. “It requires a sacrifice; it requires a cost,” she said. “I love Nehemiah’s heart and compassion for his people, and his willingness to sacrifice.”
Throughout the conference Minter will encourage women to seek what the Lord has put on their heart to do, and to then be obedient.
“This will be a great opportunity for us to get a bigger perspective of Kingdom living and who Christ has called us to be,” she said. “I won’t say it will be easy. But it will be an encouraging, inspiring call to action.”
This year’s theme Scripture passage is Psalm 103:1-5, which addresses different situations in life, such as praising God and remembering all the good the Lord has done: pardoning iniquities, healing diseases, redeeming His people and crowning them with loving kindness and compassion, and satisfying the years of His people with good things.
Breakout session leaders will share their personal experiences and what God taught them in order to encourage others going through similar situations. They also will share how God’s redeeming love impacts their lives, said Ashley Allen, director of Embrace Women’s Missions and Ministries. “While there are women who have professed Christ as their Lord and Savior, we desire for them to fully experience what this relationship means in every aspect of who they are as women,” she said.
Paula Hemphill, women’s missional strategist for the International Mission Board, will lead a breakout session titled, “The God who heals all your diseases: What about when God doesn’t heal?”
As a two-time breast cancer survivor, Hemphill has learned the importance of making sure that each day is lived for God’s glory. “All of us should be asking, ‘What really is my contribution to this life? Am I really living abundantly?’” she said. “Jesus came to give us abundant life.”
“I have a ministry to other women who are going through cancer,” Hemphill said. “I have felt the nausea and sickness, but I have also sensed God’s power and presence. As He has touched me through illness, He has given me the capacity to share Christ’s love, whether in cancer centers or in chemo chairs. People are listening,” she added. “They often listen best when we are not at our best. It’s often during times of pain and suffering that we really have the most powerful message.”
Kimberly Merida, adjunct instructor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Justice Advocate with International Justice Mission, will lead a breakout session on “The God who redeems life from the pit: Even the pit of human sex trafficking.”
Merida and her husband Tony, who pastors Imago Dei Church in Raleigh and is the author of Orphanology, are parents to five adopted children. Kimberly Merida has traveled overseas to areas where children and youth are repeatedly exploited. Her desire is to help women understand the issue of human trafficking nationally and globally, and how they can help make a difference in the lives of others.
“Our God is a great God, and He calls us to action,” she said. Often women do not act because they are afraid, or because the despair of the situation is so overwhelming they don’t know what to do. Merida encourages women to be prayer warriors and to remember that God is the redeemer and restorer. “We must pray according to who He is – we tend to minimize that,” Merida said. “God is jealous for His people.”
To register or for more information visit ncbaptist.org/wpec. A detailed listing of all the breakout sessions is also available on the website.