Blessing: Citywide Prayer Breakfast

How would you feel if your small group was selected from among hundreds of others for a private meeting with an internationally known Christian speaker? Could you contain your excitement? What if the speaker called you by name and showed genuine interest in your personal story?

That’s just a glimpse of the thrilling experience Pivot participants had on May 1 at the Citywide Prayer Breakfast at Winston-Salem’s Benton Convention Center. The guest speaker was author and TV personality Cynthia Garrett (www.cynthiagarrett.org), who shared her story and challenged the audience about what it means to walk out our faith as followers of Jesus.

Thanks to generous table sponsor, Teall Capital, and the gracious invitation by Chuck Spong, Love Out Loud’s Executive Director, six Pivot participants were “blown away, inspired, moved, and blessed.” Not only was there a delicious breakfast, but the words spoken, the videos shown, and the music were inspirational. As Pivot’s attendees waited for Cynthia after the event, dozens of people came to their table to encourage and connect. Two women even joined them at the table, talking and sharing on a spiritual and personal level. Our ladies were moved by the warm and welcoming hearts.

The private group time with Cynthia was powerful, personal and perfect! With a challenging life in her past, she connected with our ladies in such a special way as they chatted informally. Cynthia asked, “What is the biggest lie Satan is telling you?” As each participant shared her personal challenge, Cynthia responded with empowering scripture and encouraging words to address that person’s answer. Each participant then received one of Cynthia’s books in which she wrote a personal note and signed it.

God surely used the prayer breakfast and all of these people to affirm His love and the self-worth of each Pivot participant.

To God Be the Glory! Pivot has Launched!

First day of class: March 1, 2018

Here is a quick summary of the day in praise to God for His mighty works in bringing this vision to fulfillment…and into life!  Now comes the living of it!

PARTICIPANTS:

God has provided eight phenomenal women who are ready to make a change in their lives!

  • Seven were present, involved, committed and enthusiastic!
  • The eighth did not drop out, but scheduled a meeting with me, and has a plan to “make up” what she missed.
INSTRUCTORS:

Our classes for the first day were led by 4 fabulous volunteers/women of God:

  • Leslie Cox and Beth Warfford – guided a prayerful discussion to pick a Bible study from among 4 options.  Decision:  A Woman Who Hurts, a God Who Heals by Elsa Kok.
  • Debbie Loftis – led the first of 4 sessions on LifeKeys:  Discover Who You Are. This one was “Life Gifts” and how to apply them in the “right” job and other areas of life.
  • Teresa Cutts – focused on self-care and stress management, as the first installment of “Body, Mind and Spirit.”
LUNCH:

Barbara Hudgens – provided a delicious, healthy lunch with an overflow to fill some take-home boxes.

Here are a few prayer requests:

  • For Participants:  Envelop them in prayer during this journey of change, which is seldom easy for anyone!  It was clear that Satan was working in some of our lives to complicate and make that first day of commitment difficult.  Some of their situations are more chaotic and stressful than you might imagine:  trauma for one, financial crisis for another, loneliness, opposition to this change from people in their circles of influence…  We are adding to their situations a significant amount of new information and personal growth.  Their motivation and hopes are high.  God is working in their lives already.  Sustain them with your prayers.
  • For Class Instructors:  It takes a significant amount of dedication, time, preparation, and wisdom.  They don’t get to hear the other instructors’ classes to know how to tie it all together.  Pray for God’s guidance, the right words, and sustaining wisdom for them.
  • For Mentors:  In the coming weeks, each will be paired with a specific woman with whom she will build trust, live into the mentor relationship, and establish an accountability partnership.  Also pray that the matching process is God-inspired!  Pray for God’s sustaining wisdom and guidance as well.
  • For Me:  I need His wisdom in that matching process.  I didn’t quite get the sleep I needed during the week, and as we transition into the new stage of Pivot’s life, my priorities and activities will also change.  Prioritizing, organization and clear boundaries are continual prayer requests – along with God’s sustaining wisdom and guidance!  He’s SO good!
  • For More Lunch Providers:  Someone has volunteered to provide lunch next Thursday, and we’ll need more individuals/groups to prepare/deliver or cater lunch each Thursday.  Pray for the team that will meet on March 9 to develop a plan to recruit and coordinate lunches.  Pray for folks to step forward.  

Here’s a funny Carol quirk:

Some of you know that I have a song playing in my head at all times.  Often I have to stop, pay attention to it, and figure out what I’m singing…and why.  It’s just a quirk …or an outpouring of my joy.  Who knows?  BUT…yesterday:

  • As I was packing up after class, I realized I was singing words from an old hymn, “To God be the glory, Great things He hath done…”  It’s quite obvious why!  This is all for His glory!  He pulled it off.  He brought the right women.  He set the date when He knew they would all be ready and available.  He gave you patience to wait for it to happen, and somehow constrained me from running ahead of Him…and more.
  • Apparently my spirit took that to a more formal mode with a later realization that I was singing an excerpt from Handel’s Messiah“And the Glory of the Lord.”
  • After finally getting to my room later that evening, I turned on the TV for 5 minutes. Tears streamed when I realized someone was singing Andre Crouch’s My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)

Needless to say, I end this with a repeat of the opening statement:  To God be the Glory!  He is amazing!  Pivot is alive and well…moving forward to make a difference for Him in women’s lives (and a few men’s lives along the way, I’m sure)!

–Carol

What is Pivot Ministry?

What is Pivot Ministry?

Pivot Ministry exists to empower low-income women for better life and work opportunities.

 

WHO:  Pivot’s classes are small groups of women who are:

 

  • ready to make a change in life
  • without minor dependents in the home
  • willing to commit and to participate in weekly classes
  • interested in building community with others
  • open to a Biblical foundation and a one-on-one Christian mentor.
HOW: To empower participants Pivot offers:

 

  • classes in
    • life skills
    • job readiness
    • Bible study
  • one-on-one Christian mentors
  • an asset-based development approach
    • building upon participants’ strengths, not needs
    • committing to long-term change and progress
    • creating a trusted small-group community for participants
  • community collaboration
    • linking to – not duplicating – existing programs, training, resources
    • connecting with grass-roots leaders to identify participants and build trusting relationships
    • encouraging participants to find ways in which they can give back to their respective communities.
Pivot empowers participants to deal with life challenges that are deeper than the most recent crisis and partners with them providing a hand up, not a hand out.

What Should Our “Help” Look Like?

Characteristics of Successful Economic Development Interventions:

 

  • Use development rather than relief, because the vast majority of people in North America are capable of participating in the improvement of their lives;
  • Improve some aspect of the economic system or enable people to use the existing system more effectively;
  • Use an asset-based approach that builds upon the skills, intelligence, labor, discipline, savings, creativity, and courage of people;
  • Have the potential to be designed, implemented, and evaluated in a participatory manner;
  • Provide an opportunity to use biblically based curricula, allowing for a clear presentation of the gospel and the addressing of worldview issues;
  • Use church-based mentoring teams that can offer love, support, and encouragement, thereby providing a relational approach that seeks to restore people’s dignity (relationship to self), community (relationship to others), stewardship (relationship to rest of creation), and spiritual intimacy (relationship to God);
  • Are implemented over fairly long periods of time, thereby creating space for “development,” the process of ongoing change and reconciliation, for both the “helpers” and the “helped.”

Used by permission, adapted from Corbett, S., & Fikkert, B. (2012). When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor… and Yourself.  Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, pages 175-176.