It was early February 2023. The topic was introduced with the words ‘What if…’ The ensuing discussion revolved around three key questions:
Should VFM apply to be an exhibitor at the 2023 National LWML Convention?
Could VFM afford to become an exhibitor?
Would the team be able to create an interactive and engaging exhibit that permitted people to see, hear, and experience Visual Faith® Ministry?
Yes. Yes. And YES. Miracle after miracle after miracle resulted in that seed of an idea blossoming into an amazing adventure for four VFM coaches and 4000+ faith-filled LWML members. Here are eyewitness accounts from each of those four very blessed coaches.
Wow, and praise God is all I can say. What an honor and a blessing it was to be part of this amazing Visual Faith® team at the LWML (Lutheran Women in Mission) Convention. When I was asked if I was willing to be part of the exhibit team going to the convention, I had no idea what God had in store for us. I have a heart for both of these missions, and it seemed perfect to go and to be able to share our ministry with these lovely ladies that have a true heart for missions. Carolyn, Jenny, Dionne, and I are only part of this team effort that made this happen. So many worked tirelessly creating downloads and projects specific to the Convention theme verse Psalm 33: 12-13. From coming up with the ideas for what to share, what hands on project would make an impact, showing how to use our resources for outreach, organizing, designing layouts, and how we would find the funding meant there were so many working together to make this happen. Most importantly, God was in the middle of it all. And finally, there is the generosity of so many who helped us buy our supplies we needed.
I knew our resources and projects would speak to the ladies of the LWML, but little did I know how truly amazing that would be. With us all working together we had an inviting and impactful display. But who knew that our booth would be constantly packed with ladies willing to learn how to fold FaithMail (Carolyn taught non-stop to anyone who even slowed down by our booth), to making prayer cards for the person who was going to be elected the new LWML president. We now know that new president is our own Eden Keefe! So many of the visitors to our booth had questions and were willing to listen to the stories of how Visual Faith® has impacted our faith life. We talked with older women, who learned how to bless shut ins, confirmation kids and others with FaithMail and how it could be used along with hands-on mission projects. We talked to public and private schoolteachers, who were excited about how they could use our resources in their classroom, Sunday school teachers, church secretaries excited about our children’s bulletins, young moms and church workers who were excited to use these materials with families. At the end of the day, we barely had voices left. We felt the Holy Spirit’s presence throughout and knew He was working through it all. All praise to God for all these conversations.
Now we breathe a prayer of thanks and rest and let God do what He is going to do with all this. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this team.
It was my privilege to serve as a VFM representative during this four-day event. My very favorite part was engaging passers-by in conversations and inviting them into our booth. Here are three truths about the Visual Faith Ministry exhibit:
1) Our booth was a busy place. People were engaged in making faith mail for seminarians and their families. The activity piqued the curiosity of passers-by; we were quick to place supplies in their hands and involve them in the project. While hands were occupied, conversations ensued. Questions were posed. Questions were answered. Connections!
2) Our booth was an eye-catching space. People approached with quizzical expressions. They rapid-fired questions about Visual Faith® Ministry: Who are we? What is our mission? What do we offer? Why hadn’t they heard of us before? During these conversations, we showcased our resources. We talked about the ways in which VFM impacts one’s worship life, devotional life, and prayer life. We invited them to visit the website and to participate in our Online communities. Education!
3) Our booth was a welcoming place, and people shared stories. One woman, a pastor’s wife who lived 800 miles from Milwaukee, confided that she felt nudged by the Holy Spirit to attend the convention. She described how God orchestrated all things to enable her to attend. She admitted she still didn’t know why she was there, but she was living with her eyes wide open so she wouldn’t miss what God had in store. Encouragement!
I returned home foot-weary, sleep-deprived, hoarse, AND totally eager for another go-around in Omaha in June 2025! I’m deeply grateful to all those who prayed for us and generously supplied us with all we needed and more! Thank you!
Over the years I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of attending many Lutheran Women in Mission conventions, with various roles and responsibilities. This year was a bit different. I was a volunteer—and being there as part of sharing Visual Faith® Ministry—wow. What an experience. God’s provision was evident in the first steps of planning until the last traveler was home and unpacked. We learned to place our trust in Him and put aside all fears and doubts. But how do you take all of the experience in?
Smell – Can you smell the excitement in the air? Or maybe that’s just the popcorn from the last evening’s event. Someone mentioned that popcorn must be from heaven (do you think manna smelled like popcorn? I do!).
Sounds—the crazy horn that signaled, “the hall is open! Come on in,” which also heralded our team’s opening prayer, and our ‘ready’ mode. Hearing the squeals over seeing someone again after years of absence. The laughter. The booth, dinner and stay-up-too-late conversations. Getting to know one another. Hearing ministry stories. Sharing experiences.
Sights – 50,000 square feet of exhibit space, 98 exhibitors and booths, nearly 5,000 convention attendees (many of them in various shades of purple!). While the convention hall was open all day on the first day, we saw lots of people browsing by. This was the time for a casual stroll to check everything out. But Friday night—this was some serious rounding back to really check out the Ministry! I saw smiles abundant, the curious, the interested, and the engagement of SO many who wanted to learn and experience first-hand what our Ministry is all about. I saw light bulb moments of, “I could do this at home with my grandkids,” and “Oooh! This is something we could do for our mission at church”.
Touch – Writing a prayer for the President’s garland; picking up a journaling Bible and flipping through the pages; handling carefully Bev’s ‘Walking with the Lord’ display; folded hands in prayer, and many, many, folded papers of faith mail; hands shaken; big, long hugs.
Taste – oh yes—the popcorn! But more importantly:
I will extol the LORD at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt His name together.
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.
Psalm 34: 1, 3, 8
If ever there were two ministries that should walk side-by-side in sharing the Gospel, it’s Visual Faith® and Lutheran Women in Mission. Both organizations hold telling the world about Jesus Christ in the highest regard and through an amazing pathway of miracles, God brought us together in a four-day extravaganza! And you, the Visual Faith® community, was instrumental in helping us get to Milwaukee.
I’m biased. But we had the best booth in the Exhibit Hall. There were almost ninety exhibitors, and our booth was a standout. That’s because you resourced us with all kinds of things that would grab the attention of the delegates. Each of the four coaches who represented VFM in the booth talked more, walked more, and ate less than anyone else in the room. God blessed us with more conversations than we could count. We created more faith mail than we could ever imagine, and Jesus was the focal point of the whole experience. He’s the reason we went.
What did I witness during those four days?
Thousands of women who love Jesus and want to spread His Gospel.
Everyone was interested in learning how they can deepen their faith walk with the Lord.
Visual Faith® was recognized by hundreds of women as a great way achieve that goal.
Sharing VFM with others is a great deal of fun!
The event was exhilarating, encouraging, exhausting, and exciting. After my feet recover, I’ll be ready to do it all over again! Thank you all for sending us!!! To God be the Glory!!!!